Ranchi: Four children have died of Measles-Rubella in the last two months while more than 40 others are affected by the disease in Jharkhand’s Dhanbad district. All these cases have been reported from the rural areas of Dhanbad. The state’s health department has issued an alert while special teams have been formed to conduct operations in the affected areas.
The health department has admitted that two children have died in Govindpur in Dhanbad district and one each in Nirsa and Tundi due to Measles-Rubella. The maximum cases are from Govindpur block, where 22 children suffering from Measles-Rubella have been identified. Similarly, eight children are suffering in Nirsa, four in Tundi and three in Jharia. If the number of patients increases further, the entire district can be declared a Red Zone. At present it has been kept in the Yellow Zone.
According to experts, two doses of Measles and Rubella vaccines are given to children between the ages of 9 to 15 months. Children who have not been vaccinated are at risk of contracting the disease. District Civil Surgeon Dr. Alok Vishwakarma has said that in view of the complaints coming from different areas, instructions are being given to speed up the vaccination campaign.
Microbiologist Dr Jitendra Kumar explained that the main symptoms are diarrhoea, headache, cough, red eyes and fever along with small rash or rashes on the body of children. As soon as such symptoms appear, a doctor should be contacted. Relying on home and traditional remedies can be fatal. The best way is to vaccinate on time. Children who have not been vaccinated on time, should be given two vaccinations in a month for a period of five years.
According to the health department data, the target of immunisation of 72,327 children was set in 2021-22 in Baghmara, Balliapur, Dhanbad Sadar, Govindpur, Jharia, Nirsa, Topchanchi and Tundi blocks of the district. Of these, 48,459 children were given Measles vaccine while about 23,868 children missed out. In 2018, a special campaign for vaccination was conducted across the state. In this, only 40 per cent vaccination was done in Dhanbad district.