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India: Rajasthan vaccination drive starts amid protests

24 Jul, 2019
, Source:

A measles-rubella vaccination campaign, targeted to cover 2.26 crore children up to 15 years of age, has started in Rajasthan amid protests by parents in some parts of the State.

The drive met with resistance on its opening day on Monday at a school in Bharatpur district’s Nagar block where the parents of 600 students prevented the health officials from vaccinating the children.

At least 15 children, who were administered the vaccine in Jhunjhunu district’s Kakoda village, were shifted to a hospital when they complained of vomitting and nausea. On Tuesday, half-a-dozen girls at Vaidik Kanya Vidyalaya in Jaipur were admitted to Sir Padampat Mother & Child Hospital when they felt dizzy after vaccination. They were kept under observation till late in the evening.

‘Without consent’

While the Medical & Health Department maintained that the vaccination was voluntary, the local officials tried to convince the villagers of its benefits. Some parents alleged that the vaccination was being done without taking their consent and it would have an “adverse impact” on their future generations.

Inaugurating the month-long campaign at Mahaveer Public School here, Medical & Health Minister Raghu Sharma said it would be the biggest vaccination drive in the world, as India accounted for 36% of deaths of the world’s children by measles. The campaign’s first phase will cover all schools across the State and the second phase will involve outreach to local communities.

About 17,000 trained personnel will undertake vaccination activities at 61,000 Anganwadi centres, while 2.11 lakh principals and nodal teachers, 51,000 accredited social health activists (ASHAs) and 59,000 Anganwadi workers and volunteers will assist in the task. The arrangements for vaccination have been made in 65,000 government schools and 40,000 private schools.

Dr. Sharma said his department was paying the highest attention to reduction in infant mortality rate and maternal mortality ratio, as a result of which the health indicators had depicted a continuous improvement. The infant mortality rate in the State had registered an improvement by 4 digits, showing a decline from 32 to 28 per 1,000, he said.

Besides, the World Health Organization has reported that Rajasthan has carried out 90% vaccination in 2018-19. The measles-rubella vaccination drive is set to cover all pre-school children, government and private school children and out-of-school children.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 24th, 2019 at 3:59 pm and is filed under Latest News.

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