Recently, there has been a significant spike in measles cases and fatalities in Delhi, attributed to under-reporting of cases during the Covid-19 lockdowns in the previous years.
GS II: Health
Dimensions of the Article:
- About Measles
- Initiatives to Combat Measles
- Measles or as it is called ‘khasra’, is a highly contagious viral disease which affects mostly children.
- It is one of the leading causes of death and disability among young children.
- There is no specific treatment for measles but there is a vaccine to stay protected from the disease, which is both safe as well as cost effective.
- Death due to measles are caused by the complications associated with the disease like blindness, encephalitis, severe diarrhoea and pneumonia.
- Measles spreads by coughing and sneezing, close personal contact or direct contact with infected nasal or throat secretions.
- As per reports, an infected child with measles can spread the virus to others for about eight days, starting four days before the rash appears and ending when the rash has been present for four days.
What are the symptoms?
- Symptoms appear around 10 to 14 days after exposure to the virus.
- The main symptoms are fever, dry cough, running nose, sore throat and rash.
- The rashes look like small red spots which remain slightly raised and give the skin a splotchy red appearance.
- The face of the rash breaks out first. Within days, it spreads to the rest of the body.
Initiatives to Combat Measles
Measles & Rubella Initiative (M&R Initiative):
- Launch: Established in 2001.
- Leading Partners: Led by organizations such as the American Red Cross, United Nations Foundation, CDC, UNICEF, and WHO.
- Objective: Dedicated to preventing child deaths from measles and congenital rubella syndrome. It supports countries in planning, funding, and assessing efforts to eliminate measles and rubella.
Measles-Rubella (MR) Vaccination:
- Target: Aims to vaccinate approximately 410 million children in India.
- Age Group: Covers all children aged 9 months to less than 15 years.
- Vaccine: Administers a single Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccination regardless of previous vaccination or disease status.
Universal Immunization Programme (UIP):
- Objective: Part of India’s broader vaccination efforts, UIP focuses on ensuring universal immunization, including vaccines against measles, to protect children from vaccine-preventable diseases.
- Objective: Launched to intensify efforts to expand immunization coverage in areas with low vaccination rates. It aims to reach unreached children and pregnant women with necessary vaccinations.
Intensified Mission Indradhanush:
- Objective: Building on Mission Indradhanush, this initiative aims to accelerate immunization coverage and reach underserved and vulnerable populations, particularly in urban areas and tribal regions.
-Source: The Hindu