Home / News / India /  Centre deploys high level teams to Jharkhand, Gujarat & Kerala to manage Measles outbreak in kids

Centre deploys high level teams to Jharkhand, Gujarat & Kerala to manage Measles outbreak in kids

Measles vaccination falls under universal immunization program (UIP) of the central government targeting over 2.67 crore newborns. (AFP)Premium
Measles vaccination falls under universal immunization program (UIP) of the central government targeting over 2.67 crore newborns. (AFP)

  • The teams will assist the state health authorities in instituting public health measures and facilitate operationalization of requisite control and containment measures, th health ministry said

NEW DELHI : The Union Ministry of Health on Wednesday has decided to depute three high-level multi-disciplinary 3-member teams to Ranchi (Jharkhand), Ahmedabad (Gujarat) and Malappuram (Kerala) to take stock of the upsurge in cases of Measles. 

The teams will assist the State Health Authorities in instituting public health measures and facilitate operationalization of requisite control and containment measures, th health ministry said. 

“The Central team to Ranchi comprises of experts drawn from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), New Delhi, and Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital (RMLH), New Delhi. Experts from PHO, Mumbai, Kalawati Saran Children’s Hospital (KSCH), New Delhi and Regional Office of Health and Family Welfare (RoHFW), Ahmedabad will comprise the Central team to Ahmedabad and the team to Malappuram will consist of experts from RoHFW, Thiruvananthapuram, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Pondicherry and Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC), New Delhi," said the health ministry. 

Senior Regional Director, RoHFW, Jharkhand, Gujarat and Kerala will coordinate with the respective teams regarding their visits. 

The teams will also undertake field visits to investigate the outbreak and assist the State Health Departments in terms of public health measures, management guidelines and protocols to manage the increasing cases of Measles being reported in the three cities. The experts will also coordinate with the States for ensuring active case search in the area and with VRDLs for testing of the identified cases. 

Measles is a highly contagious viral infection and is associated with high mortality in children less than 2 years of age. 

“It looks like these children might have missed some immunization doses of measles vaccine during the covid pandemic. So, when the infection came in larger number of children were susceptible to the disease. We have reliable vaccine against measles and somebody is fully vaccinated it is unlikely that they will get infected. The most likely reason is that vaccination was not completed for such children," said an official requesting anonymity. 

Measles vaccination falls under Universal Immunization Program (UIP) of the Central government targeting over 2.67 crore newborns. Under UIP, immunization is providing free of cost against 12 vaccine preventable diseases such as diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Polio, Measles, Rubella, severe form of Childhood Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B and Meningitis & Pneumonia caused by Hemophilus Influenza type 

The Central government has a dedicated committee for elimination of measles and Rubella which is headed by Dr NK Arora, Chief of National Technical Advisory Group of Immunisation (NTAGI). 

“The health ministry along with the state government (Mumbai) is investigation a and preparing a report of the current surge of measles cases in Mumbai," said another official. 

Queries sent to the health ministry spokesperson did not respond till press time.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Priyanka Sharma

Priyanka Shamra is a health and pharma journalist with nearly nine years of field reporting experience. She is a special correspondent with Mint. Her beat includes covering the Ministry of Health and Department of Pharmaceuticals. She also covers the Ministry of Women and Child Development and the Department of Biotechnology.
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