Measles immunization programme inaugurated in northeast

[TamilNet, Saturday, 14 June 2003, 00:31 GMT]
Sri Lanka's health ministry Friday launched its first national level measles immunization programme in the country. The inaugural event was held for the time in the northeast province and the programme would be extended to other provinces in the country in September, October 2003, health ministry sources said.

Inaugurating the first phase of the national level measles immunization programme in a Tamil village Thampalakamam in the Trincomalee district, administrative capital of the northeast, Provincial Governor's Secretary Mr.S. Amirthalingam commended the dedicated service of medical officers and related health officials who worked in the northeast during the war period.

Immunization for Measles
student selected for immunization lighting the traditional oil lamp at the inaugural function.Provincial health official Dr.Gunalan is also seen


He also commendedthe health officials for providing medical assistance with available drugs and other facilities amid acute shortage of drugs, medical personnel and necessary equipments, sources said.

The phase 1 will be conducted as a school based immunization programme since most of the target population (10-14 years) consists of school going children.

Mobile clinics will be conducted in inaccessible and difficult areas with the help of local and international non-governmental organizations (NGO). Mobile clinics and special temporary centres will be set up to reach non-school going population of the target group.

Immunization for Measles
first student in the country being immunized for measles under the national level immunization programme launched in the island and first in the northeast. Provincial Governor's Secretary Mr.Amirthalingam, health offixcial Dr.Gunalan and M.O.H.Dr.Uvais are also watching the event


Special strategies may be required to reach the target population in the estate sector and school dropouts, health officials said.

Provincial health ministry official Dr.E.G.Gunalan presided. The event was attended by action Provincial Directors of Health Services Dr (Ms) J.Suntharalingam, Deputy Provincial Director of Health Services Dr.S.Abraham, Deputy Provincial Director of Health Services also spoke. Kinniya Medical Officer of Health Dr.M.Uvais made the welcome address.

Dr.T.Thavakodirajah who is in charge of the measles immunization programme for the northeast province and Trincomalee Integrated Food Security Programme (IFSP) Nutrition and Health Advisor Ms Gabriele Goetz and other officials participated at the inaugural event, sources said.

The first phase of the measles immunization programme will target all children between 1-14 years of age and phase two, those between 16 and 20 years of age. The second phase will be conducted in 2004, provincial health officials said.

Imuunization for Measles
students participating at the measles immunization programme


Mopping up campaigns (house-to-house immunization activities) will be conducted to identify children who have missed routine immunization and previous mass campaigns. These campaigns will take place soon after follow-up campaigns in areas known or thought to have many remaining susceptible children, officials said.

 

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