UPSC Exam Preparation: Topic of the Day – Measles and Rubella Campaign
India, along with ten other World Health Organization (WHO) South-East Asia Region member countries, has resolved to eradicate measles and control rubella/congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) by 2020. The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, in this direction, has started measles-rubella (MR) vaccination campaign for the children of age group of 9 months to less than 15 years in a phased manner through the length and breadth of the country.
The campaign is targeted at covering around 41 crore children, the largest ever covered in any campaign. Under the campaign, children will be given single shot of Measles and Rubella (MR) campaign irrespective of their previous measles/rubella vaccination status or measles/rubella disease status. MR vaccine will be provided free- of- cost across the states from session sites at schools as well as health facilities and in the sites of outreach session.
- The campaign also marks the introduction of rubella vaccine in India’s childhood immunization programme to address CRS which causes birth defects such as irreversible deafness and blindness in nearly 40 000 children every year.
- The Measles-Rubella campaign is part of a worldwide campaign to decrease illness and deaths due to these two diseases in India. Measles immunization directly contributes to the lowering of child mortality below age 5, and in combination with rubella vaccine, it will control rubella and prevent CRS.
- The campaign involves multiple stakeholders in order to achieve maximum coverage. The stakeholders include professional bodies like Civil society Organisations, Indian Medical Association, Indian Association of Pediatric, developmental partners, lion clubs etc. apart from Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
The India Expert Advisory Group on Measles & Rubella (IEAG-MR) has stated that India has made commendable progress on the measles and rubella vaccination campaign. It was concluded by the expert member group that ‘the country is on the right track’. Currently, 13 states in the country have been covered by the MR vaccination campaign. The India Expert Advisory Group has advised for the MR vaccination campaign to cover the whole country by 2018.