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  • 45 lakh children to be covered in two month long campaign 

SRINAGAR: With an aim to eliminate Measles /rubella and keep our children safe and healthy, Private Schools Association of Jammu and Kashmir (PSAJK) and Department of Family Welfare, MCH & Immunisation, J&K under the guidance of WHO are launching a massive vaccination campaign in all of its private educational Institutes across the state.  In this regard we all have assembled here to announce the partnership of Private schools in the mission for the first time. As a responsible component of the society it is imperative on us to ensure the well being of our children. 

The Press Conference is being addressed by G N Var, President PSAJK, Dr Samir Mattoo, Director FW, MCH & Immunization, Dr Salim Khan, HOD, PSM Govt. Medical College, Srinagar, Dr Qazi Haroon,  State Officer FW, MCH & immunization,  Dr Ifthikar Munshi, Member WHO, Dr.Sheema SMO-WHO Srinagar and Dr.M K Sharma SMO-WHO, Manzoor Wangnoo, Chairman Moral Education & Environment Council PSAJK and Rahi Riyaz, Chairman Health & Hygiene Council PSAJK. 

“The campaign targets a large birth cohort of approximately 45 Lakhs children in Jammu and Kashmir, starting September/ October 2018,” said Var. “A large of these children study in private schools and it becomes necessary for us to cooperate with this cause. We are proud to be partnering in the campaign for the betterment of our children and society.” 

The vaccine will be introduced as Measles-Rubella campaign, targeting children from 9 months up to 15 years, in a phased manner, followed by administration of the vaccine in routine immunization. The Association said that it is always on the forefront of collaborations when it comes to initiatives that help out children. “WHO and health department is interested in achieving the target of 95 % coverage for this vaccination and we assure our partners that the coverage will be nearing 100 percent,” said Var. 

The panellists said that the key to achieving more than 95% coverage in the state will depend upon the implementation quality of school-based strategy that will cover more than 85% of the total cohort of targeted children in our state. Rest of the children will be covered through outreach immunization. “The campaign aims to rapidly build up immunity for both measles and rubella, and also provides a second opportunity for children left out in routine immunization,” said Var. 

The Association said that the MR campaign dose is given to all targeted children, both immunized and unimmunized, irrespective of prior measles/rubella infection. The goal of MR campaign is to accelerate population immunity by reaching 100% target children with MR vaccine that will reduce cases and deaths from measles and disabilities from CRS. 

Regarding the background of the programme, it is important to mention that India along with other WHO-SEAR countries, in September 2013, resolved to eliminate measles and control rubella/congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) by 2020, in alignment with that, ministry of health and family welfare is introducing rubella vaccine in its universal immunization program (UIP) as Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccine.  

 

The Association said that with the support of Department of Education, WCD and other key stakeholders, Kashmir will eliminate Measles /rubella and keep our children safe and healthy.