Measles vaccination drive underway in Yangon Region

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  • We have made such progress against once-common illnesses that we forget they are still around, and still, potentially life-threatening. The measles outbreak in some areas exemplifies what can happen if we reduce our vigilance — especially when it comes to vaccination.
    Recently, there were measles outbreaks in a developed country like the United States as well as in the Southeast Asian countries of Thailand and the Philippines, resulting in some fatalities. Measles is highly contagious and causes additional complications that can result in death.
    The Ministry of Health and Sports is placing great emphasis on programs for measles prevention. An additional measles and German measles vaccination program is being carried out from 17 to 28 February, targeting about 600,000 children under the age of 15 in seven townships of Yangon
    Region.
    While conducting vaccination programs, health information is being displayed in places such as markets and schools. As the private sector plays an important role in the success of a vaccination program, the current drive is being conducted in collaboration with the Myanmar Private Medical Practitioners group. Work guidelines have been distributed to public health universities and basic health universities, and are being provided through mobile tablets distributed by the ministry, and emphasis must be placed on making the job of the staff conducting the vaccination drives easier and
    smoother.
    Measles is extremely contagious, and potentially fatal in young children. And it has persisted elsewhere. Around the world, more than 100,000 people die of measles each year — most of them are children under the age 5.
    The virus is airborne and spreads through coughing and sneezing.
    The symptoms for this highly contagious disease typically don’t appear for 7 to 14 days, and infected people are contagious days before the appearance of the first symptoms: a high fever, coughing, runny nose, and red, watery eyes. The rash that is characteristic of measles only shows up later, typically beginning around the ears.
    Meanwhile, flu is also common in this season, and people often forget about its potential consequences, as well.
    Parents must not be reluctant to get their children inoculated, and must not fall prey to misinformation surrounding vaccines.
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