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World Measles Immunisation Day: Complete immunisation of children has risen from 80% to 94%, tweets Mamata

World Measles Immunisation Day: Complete immunisation of children has risen from   80% to 94%, tweets Mamata

Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who is also the state Health minister said on Saturday that immunisation of children has gone up to 94 percent from 80 percent.

On World Measles Immunisation Day, she tweeted: "Today is #Measles Immunisation Day. Worldwide, measles is a major cause of death among young children. We must raise more awareness about this deadly disease and work towards its eradication. In #Bangla, complete immunisation of children has increased from 80% to 94%."

After coming to power in 2011, Banerjee has stressed on the improvement of the healthcare system here. Bengal is the only one in India where treatment in state-run hospitals is free. The child mortality rate has gone down and the rate of institutional delivery has gone up. Clubs and the state Health department are working hand-in-hand to organise immunisation camps.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It remains an important cause of death among young children globally, despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine.

Under the Global Vaccine Action Plan, measles and rubella are targeted for elimination in five WHO Regions by 2020. World Health Organisation is the lead technical agency responsible for coordination of immunisation and surveillance activities supporting all countries to achieve this goal.

Measles is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of infected persons. Initial symptoms, which usually appear 10–12 days after infection, include high fever, a runny nose, bloodshot eyes, and tiny white spots on the inside of the mouth.

Several days later, a rash develops, starting on the face and upper neck which gradually spreads downwards.

Severe measles is more likely among poorly nourished young children, especially those with insufficient vitamin A, or whose immune systems have been weakened by HIV/AIDS or other diseases.

The most serious complications include blindness, encephalitis (an infection that causes brain swelling),

severe diarrhoea and related dehydration and severe respiratory infections such as pneumonia.

Routine measles vaccination for children, combined with mass immunisation campaigns in countries with low routine coverage are key public health strategies to reduce global measles deaths.

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