Aradhana Patnaik at the workshop in Ranchi on Friday. Picture by Prashant Mitra
The state government, in association with Unicef, will begin its second phase of the anti-measles vaccination campaign from November 18.
Measles is one of the killer diseases for India’s children.
A daylong interactive workshop, jointly organised by the state health department, WHO-National Polio Surveillance Project, Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program and Unicef, was held in Ranchi on Friday to spread awareness on the life-threatening disease among mediapersons.
A campaign to administer vaccines in 19 districts across Jharkhand will cover 58.77 lakh children in the age group of nine months to 10 years. The three-week exercise will cover 10 districts of Bokaro, Dhanbad, Dumka, East Singhbhum, Godda, Hazaribagh, Pakur, Ranchi, Sahebganj and Simdega on November 18.
On December 2, the campaign will start in the rest of the nine districts — Chatra, Garhwa, Giridih, Koderma, Latehar, Palamau, Ramgarh, Seraikela and West Singhbhum .
The chief guest on the occasion, principal secretary of health and family welfare and medical education K. Vidyasagar, applauded the efforts of organisers. He added the media had an important role in combating this disease.
State project director of National Rural Health Mission Aradhana Patnaik said a team comprising 1,000 supervisors and 40,000 sahiyas will carry out the drive in its second phase. “Only trained health workers will administer vaccines. They will also ensure that all targeted children are vaccinated through random checks,” she said.
Job Zachariah, Unicef’s Jharkhand chief, said the contagious disease could be avoided by increasing the immunisation rate for measles and encouraging breastfeeding.
Praveen Chandra, director-in-chief of state health services, focused on cold chain to store vaccines.
The first phase of campaign was held on January 31 in Deoghar, Gumla, Jamtara, Lohardaga and Khunti.