Although malnutrition is a major problem, due to which the children suffer less resistance to normal diseases. Measles is a major cause of infant and child mortality, but immunisation can help to protect from these diseases. In 2016, the number of measles cases reported in Madhya Pradesh was 2,369, while it went down to 1,102 in 2017 and 1,364 in 2018.

As per the data of NFHS 4 (2015-16), the number of children with immunisation in Madhya Pradesh is 53.6%, which is 13% more than the NFHS 3 (2005-06). If the status of measles immunisation is seen, it was 79.6 percent. But after this there has been a great improvement in terms of community awareness due to continuous campaigns in the last two years. This is the reason why in addition to routine immunisation, efforts are being made to bring 100% of children under the programme through different campaigns. In 2015, there were 49,200 deaths in India, which is approximately 36 percent of total for the world. Those who survive suffer from serious complications, including diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition. Rubella transmission is also highly prevalent across India. It may lead to spontaneous abortion, stillbirth and irreversible birth defects, such as lifelong disabilities affecting multiple organs like deafness, blindness, mental retardation, heart defect etc.

Nishant Warwade, director of National Health Mission, Madhya Pradesh, says that all preparations have been made for the launch of measles rubella campaign in Madhya Pradesh, under which 2.32 crore children will be immunised in four phases in schools, Anganwadis, outreach and mop up sessions. All health facilities will have free measles rubella vaccine and regular routine immunisation sessions. Monitoring will be a key aspect of the campaign both at state and district level.

State Immunisation Officer Dr. Santosh Shukla says that measles and rubella are very dangerous for children and pregnant women. Measles can cause serious complications like ear infection, blindness, encephalitis, diarrhea, pneumonia, malnutrition and death due to complications. Rubella and congenital rubella syndrome infection in pregnant women may have serious consequences, which lead to many other lifelong disabilities in children.

UNICEF is giving technical support in to this campaign. Anil Gulati, Communication Specialist, UNICEF, Madhya Pradesh, emphasizes the need to eliminate all hurdles to save children from measles and rubella by proper immunisation. He says social media has also been included in the spreading awareness about the campaign so that information reaches the maximum number of people. (IPA Service)