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Vaccination campaign against Japanese Encephalitis to be launched from April in Madhya Pradesh

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Senior Correspondent

BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh, though not reporting any major outbreak, will see a vaccination campaign against Japanese Encephalitis (JE) – a brain infection caused by the JE virus, generally spread by mosquitoes.

The campaign is planned in four districts of Bhopal, Indore, Raisen and Vidisha, but initially will commence in Raisen and Vidisha from month of April, Dr Himanshu Jayswar, state programme officer, Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme (VBDCP) of the Madhya Pradesh directorate of health services said at a media workshop on Tuesday.

The officer said that during past five years, 186 cases of JE were reported in the entire state. Under the campaign, children in age group 11 months to 15 years will be vaccinated. In first phase children from 11 to 59 months of age will be vaccinated at anganwadi centres, followed by the school going children (six to 15 years).

Earlier, MP health and family welfare minister Dr Prabhuram Choudhary also spoke at the workshop organised by the State Routine Immunization Cell, National Health Mission, and UNICEF India with support of partners WHO, UNDP, CHAI, JSI and JPHEIGO. 

He underlined the efforts of the State on routine and COVID-19 Immunization and called for media's support to disseminate information so that all children and parents are reached with the message of immunization.

State Immunization Officer Dr Santosh Shukla said that we need to eliminate Measles and Rubella from India and Madhya Pradesh, as they are contagious and deadly diseases. Children affected with Measles and Rubella have 30 per cent higher mortality rate. “There are various myths on vaccination and it is call on us to eliminate them and encourage parents to get their children immunized,” he said.

Prasahant Pathrabe, Additional Director General of Press Information Bureau, said that media can play a role in spreading positive stories of immunization and creating demand for vaccination.

Anil Gulati, Communication Specialist, UNICEF, Madhya Pradesh coordinated the meet, and called on role of the media not only to encourage parents to get their children immunized, but also disseminate right information on vaccination.

Two ANMs Rekha and Meena from Bhopal shared their experience on reaching out to parents and how they were able convince parents of children on Measles-Rubella vaccine. Dr Upendra Dubey, District Immunization Officer also shared his experience.

Representatives of media, WHO, UNDP, Clinton Health Access Initiative, JSI, JPEIGO were present at the workshop.