Ranchi, Jharkhand | July | 18, 2018 :: UNICEF awarded ‘Measles rubella (MR) Champions’ during a knowledge session organized for over 400 students of DAV Public School Gandhinagar here today.
The MR vaccine is being launched in Jharkhand on 26 July 2018 and this knowledge session is a part of the ongoing public awareness campaign being run by the Government of Jharkhand with support of UNICEF, WHO and other partners.
During the session the students and teachers were briefed about the vaccine and its health benefits. They were also called upon to support the campaign by spreading awareness about the MR vaccine amongst their peers, family members and the larger community.
Dr. Madhulika Jonathan, Chief of UNICEF Jharkhand says, “UNICEF has partnered with Radio City, a leading private FM station in Jharkhand, to spread the word about the MR vaccine in schools and among the masses. The Measles Rubella vaccine will be administered in government and private schools, health facilities and outreach sites and will cover over 1.17 crore children in the age group of 9 months to 15 years in Jharkhand. Following the campaign, the combined MR vaccine will be available under routine immunization, replacing the earlier administrated two doses of measles vaccine.”
Dr Vanesh Mathur, Health Officer, UNICEF said, “Measles is one of the leading causes of death among children under 5 years. As per WHO estimates, measles killed over 49,000 children in 2015 in India. And Rubella is a mild viral illness but can lead to serious consequences if infected during pregnancy such abortion, miscarriage, still birth and can cause congenital anomalies in the foetus and newborns affecting the eyes (glaucoma, cataract), ears (hearing loss), brain (microcephaly, mental retardation) and heart defects, many of which require costly therapy, surgeries and other expensive care. Both measles and rubella can be prevented by the MR vaccine which offer lifelong protection. Malnourished children should be vaccinated on a priority basis, as they are more likely to have complications like diarrhoea and pneumonia.”
UNICEF will organize similar knowledge sessions in select private schools of Ranchi this month. Today’s programme was attended by Mr. R K Sahu, Supervisor Head, faculty and students from DAV Gandhinagar; Ms. Moira Dawa from UNICEF; Ms. Sheela Kumari from Alok Bharti, among others.