Port Blair, April 12: The month long Measles & Rubella (MR) Vaccination campaign in Andaman & Nicobar Islands got underway with a launching ceremony held in the auditorium of G B Pant Hospital here today. The Lt. Governor, A & N Islands, Admiral D K Joshi, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, NM, VSM (Retd) launched the campaign as the chief guest. The programme, an initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO), is being organized by the State Immunization Unit of the Directorate of Health Services, Port Blair.
Addressing the gathering on the occasion, the Lt. Governor said that Measles & Rubella Vaccination campaign is a laudable initiative of WHO, which has launched the programme in Asia, covering 10 countries including India. The objective of WHO is to address the problems caused by measles disease and control the morbidity prevalent by administering Measles and Rubella Vaccination, he said.
The Lt. Governor said that the remoteness of these Islands, and the scattering of the population make it difficult to reach out to the people; and delivering any service to them within a timeframe is a massive challenge. “But we must take up the challenge and make all efforts in achieving 100% measles vaccination coverage of children”, he said, advising all Departments involved in the process to extend full cooperation in the endeavour. He also urged the Islanders to render full support in the programme so that the target can be achieved within the timeframe.
The Chief Secretary, A&N Administration, Shri Anindo Majumdar, while speaking on the occasion, underlined the need for working together to accomplish the task of vaccinating children in the targeted age group and make the campaign a grand success. The Islands have achieved 87% immunization, which needs to be made 100%, he said, urging all involved to bring to light any difficulties during the campaign, so that necessary steps can be initiated for smooth conduct of the vaccination campaign and the mission be achieved within stipulated time.
Outlining the parameters of the campaign, the Principal Secretary (Health), Shri Sanjeev Khirwar informed that the campaign will cover children in the age group 9 to 15 years. Measles vaccination will be administered to around one lakh children in schools and anganwadi centers across the Islands, he said, and sought support from all line Departments, schools and anganwadi as also general public for successful accomplishment of the campaign.
Two children were also administered measles vaccination on the occasion. The Lt. Governor and the Chief Secretary issued vaccination certificates to these two children.
An invocation song was presented by the students of School of Nursing, G B Pant Hospital.
Earlier, Dr. S P Burma, Director (Health Services) welcomed the gathering and the function concluded with the vote of thanks, proposed by Dr. Avijit Roy, Dy. Director (Health).