Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Anti-measles campaign in five Yangon townships

Concerned about the outbreak of measles in Yangon Region, the Department of Public Health has embarked on a mass vaccination campaign among children in five townships to curb the spread of the disease.

An ethnic Naga child undergoes a medical examination at the Htan Khaw Lar Mar village, Lahe township, Sagaing Region, 9 August 2016. Photo: EPAAn ethnic Naga child undergoes a medical examination at the Htan Khaw Lar Mar village, Lahe township, Sagaing Region, 9 August 2016. Photo: EPA

Dr Win Lwin, Regional Director of Department of Public Health, said yesterday that the department aimed to vaccinate all children aged between 9 months and 15 years in the five townships, where most of the cases occurred.

“The best way to protect against measles is vaccination. Cooperation of the public and organisations is needed and we would like all children to get vaccinated,” said Dr Win Lwin.

The campaign started on February 6 and will continue till February 20 in the townships of Hlaing Tharyar, Twante, Insein, Kyeemyindaing and Thaketa, according to the department.

Dr Win Lwin said Hlaing Tharyar, which has 20 wards and nine villages, is a populous area with low vaccine coverage, especially among migrant workers.

According to the Public Health Department, 98 measles cases were found last month in 20 townships in Yangon Region. Fifty of the cases were from Hlaing Tharyar township. Health officials said protection against measles is necessary because it is an infectious disease.

Dr Than Tun Aung, deputy director general of Department of Public Health said the campaign was implemented to protect and prevent the disease from spreading to other areas.

“Every child should take part in the vaccination programme to protect against the disease. Measles can be dangerous when children who do not have enough nutrition are infected and have develop secondary health problems,” said Dr Than Tun Aung.

A spokesperson from Hlaing Tharyar township’s Health Department said they are trying to cover all wards and villages in the township.

The Department of Public Health has been implementing regular vaccination exercises for children aged 9 months and 18 months in the first week of every month in the townships.

The symptoms of measles are fever, dry cough, sore throat, runny nose and red spots on the skin, and conjunctivitis.

The government said last August that 56 people from Lahe township in Naga self-administrated zone (SAZ) had died due to a measles outbreak between June and August 2016, while 40 people from Nanyun township in Sagaing Region died due to malnutrition and related health problems.

The government launched a measles vaccination program in Naga SAZ in August 2016 and vaccinated more than 15,000 children.