2,05,000 teenage girls given vaccine since February 3

Vaccinating teenage girls against Rubella will be a major step in bringing down the infant mortality rate in the State that has remained almost steady for the past 10 years between 12 and 16, Director of Health Services P.K. Jameela has said.

Inaugurating the National Health Rights Campaign and a debate on the Rubella vaccination drive in the State, organised by the Ethical Medical Forum here, she said that apprehensions and resistance were common before any new programme.

Vaccination was the most cost-effective public health intervention method followed across the world and it was the best way to check the Congenital Rubella Syndrome that caused deformities in children. Though definite statistics were unavailable, the deformities, especially coronary, was the reason behind majority infant deaths in the State, though low birth weight, infection and breathing trouble also contributed to infant mortality, she said.

Small pox could be wiped off from the earth due to effective vaccination and the same could be done for Rubella.

Now, only students in government schools were being administered the vaccine. However, from the next academic year, all teenage girls irrespective of schools would be vaccinated, Dr. Jameela said.

She said that more than 2,05,000 girls had been administered Rubella vaccine in the State since the drive started on February 3.

Director of Social Security Mission and vice-president of the Ethical Medical Forum T.P. Asharaf was the moderator. Associate Professor of Community Medicine at the Kozhikode Government Medical College T. Jayakrishnan, homoeopath and activist Hari P.G., journalists V.P. Rajeena and Manila C. Mohan and Insurance Medical Officer Umar Farooq were present.

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