Measles Rubella Current Affairs

Government launches second phase of Measles-rubella vaccination campaign

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched the second phase of measles-rubella (MR) vaccination campaign to reduce measles morbidity and mortality,

The second phase of campaign will cover 8 states and union territories namely Andhra Pradesh, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Telangana and Uttarakhand.

Key Facts

The Health Ministry has initiated MR vaccination campaign in the age group of 9 months to less than 15 years in a phased manner in the country. It was started across the country under the universal immunisation programme (UIP).

The campaign aims to rapidly build up immunity for both measles and rubella diseases in the community to knock out the disease. Under the second phase, more than three crore children are expected to be covered in these 8 states.

Under this campaign, MR vaccine has replaced two doses of measles vaccine provided in the routine immunisation programme in these states. For those children who have already received such vaccination, the campaign dose will provide additional boosting to them.

Measles-rubella (MR)

Measles is one of the important causes of death in children. It is highly contagious and spreads through coughing and sneezing of an infected person. It can also make a child vulnerable to life threatening complications such as diarrhoea, pneumonia and brain infection. Symptoms of the infection can include cataracts and deafness. It can also affect the heart and the brain.

Rubella disease is commonly known as German Measles (or three-day measles). It is symptomatically similar to measles. It is generally a mild infection, but has serious consequences if infection occurs in pregnant women, causing congenital rubella syndrome (CRS). CRS is characterized by congenital anomalies in the foetus and newborns affecting the eyes (cataract, glaucoma), brain (microcephaly, mental retardation), ears (hearing loss) and heart defects.

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Union Government launches Measles Rubella vaccination campaign

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched Measles Rubella (MR) vaccination campaign in the country at Bengaluru, Karnataka.

It is largest ever in any campaign against these two diseases will start from five States/UTs viz. Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Goa and Lakshadweep covering nearly 3.6 crore target children.

Key Facts
  • The MR campaign is largest ever vaccination campaign aimed to target around 41 crore children across the country against two diseases.
  • Under it all children aged between 9 months and less than 15 years will be given a single shot of Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccination free-of-cost acros irrespective of their previous vaccination status or disease status.
  • Measles vaccine is currently provided under Universal Immunization Programme (UIP). However, rubella vaccine will be a new addition to it.
  • After the completion of the campaign, MR vaccine will be introduced in routine immunization and will replace measles vaccine, given at 9-12 months and 16-24 months of age of child.
  • Measles immunization will directly contribute in reduction of under-five child mortality and with combination of rubella vaccine, it will control rubella and prevent CRS (congenital rubella syndrome) in country population.

About Measles

Measles is a deadly disease and one of the important causes of death in children. It is highly contagious and spreads through coughing and sneezing of an infected person. It can make a child vulnerable to life threatening complications such as diarrhoea, pneumonia and brain infection. Globally, in 2015, measles killed an estimated 1, 34,200 children, mostly under-five years. In India, it killed an estimated 49,200 children.

About Rubella

Rubella is generally a mild infection, but has serious consequences if infection occurs in pregnant women, causing CRS, which is a cause of public health concern. CRS is characterized by congenital anomalies in the foetus and newborns affecting the eyes (cataract, glaucoma), ears (hearing loss), brain (mental retardation, microcephaly) and heart defects, causing a huge socio-economic burden on the families in particular and society in general. In 2010, an estimated 1,03,000 children were born with CRS globally, of which around 47,000 children (46%) were in South-East Asia Region.

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