Only 42.28% of children in Telangana have been vaccinated against measles and Rubella. This shocking statistic was revealed at a meeting organised to raise awareness on the need to speed up M-R vaccination and to bust myths surrounding the issue in the city.
“Of the target of 9,49,605 children in Telangana, only 4,01,585 have been vaccinated. The immunisation programme has hit a hurdle in certain schools where staff, carried away by certain rumours, refused or hindered the in-school immunisation drive,” said G. Sudheera, Programme Officer, Health Immunisation.
In Hyderabad, of the 3,639 schools, only 2,090 schools have been covered and 120 schools in old city area have sent letters refusing to go ahead with the vaccination programme. In about 20-30% of these 1,600-odd schools, nearly 60% of the children have refused vaccination in the old city area.
“India is lagging in the race to wipe out the disease when compared to other countries,” said Sanjeev Upadhay, Head, Unicef (TS). “The immunisation is mandatory for children between nine months and 15 years of age, and will help not only in combating the disease, but also safeguarding future generations,” said Imaduddin, a paediatrician.
Adding his voice against rumours and misinformation, Mufti Mahmood Zubair Qasmi, Secretary, Jamiat-ul Ulema e Hind, said: “Rumours about vaccination is a conspiracy against the citizens of old city.” He urged the parents of children to “cooperate in the vaccination drive and help eliminate measles”.