Sunday October 24, 2021

Steps being taken to control measles, rubella

October 15, 2021

LAHORE : Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid pledged to make the upcoming Measles Rubella campaign a success by all means.

She stated this during a meeting with a high-level International Mission at the Civil Secretariat here Thursday.

Secretary Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department Imran Sikander Baloch accompanied the minister during the meeting.

The International Mission comprised of top officials from UN agencies and institutions. The Mission included Dr Christopher from UNICEF headquarters, Dr Natasha Sara Senior Adviser to WHO Headquarters, Dr Stephen Sosler and Dr Mario Jamenez from GAVI, Dr Suleman Malik Senior Adviser UNICEF, Dr Akram Shah National Programme Manager EPI, National Technical Focal Person Dr Zareef Khan, Dr Jamshed Ahmed WHO Head of Office Punjab, Dr Tahir Manzoor Health Specialist UNICEF, Dr Khawaja Aftab Health Specialist UNICEF, Dr Naeem Majeed Technical Focal Person BMGF, Dr Abedi Nasir Polio Team Lead WHO and Rashida Bano from WHO. From Punjab, Director General Health Services Dr Haroon Jehangir and Director EPI Dr Mukhtar Ahmed joined the meeting. The International Mission discussed with the health minister global measles and rubella situation and the global roadmap vis-à-vis SDGs. Secretary Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department Imran Sikander Baloch shared the progress made by Punjab EPI Programme. The Mission appreciated Punjab’s performance in battling corona, dengue and overcoming vaccine preventable diseases.

Speaking to the delegation, the health minister said that the Punjab government was taking tangible steps to prevent and control measles and rubella. She said, “We have geared up preparations for the upcoming Measles Rubella Campaign scheduled from November 15 to 27 this year.

The campaign shall be conducted in all districts and children of nine months to 15 years of age shall be vaccinated. Overall, more than 46.6 million children will be vaccinated. The campaign shall be conducted in all 3,540 union councils of the province. Smooth and seamless collaboration and synergy of all stakeholders for the campaign is the first step towards its success. The government shall provide all required resources to make the MR campaign a success. The MR vaccine shall be administered to children in community through fixed and outreach centres as well as in schools. An aggressive through-the-line approach shall be used for awareness campaign utilising all media. South Punjab shall be under special focus during the campaign. The role of teachers is extremely important so far as school vaccination is concerned. All Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners have been asked to personally supervise and make the campaign successful.” The health minister said that Punjab was battling corona and dengue challenges simultaneously. She said Punjab had already provided corona vaccination to over 55 million people. The Mission appreciated Punjab’s performance against corona and dengue and assured of their all-out support for the Measles and Rubella campaign.