Anti-measles campaign starts in Meghalaya

Shillong: The centrally-aided anti-measles vaccination programme aimed at covering nearly 99 per cent of children in Meghalaya began in four districts Monday.

"We target to reach more than 6,66,000 children in both rural and urban areas of Meghalaya," the nodal officer for the anti-measles campaign, Dr M R Basaiawmoit, said.

The districts to be covered are: Khasi, Bhoi, Jaintia Hills and Garo Hills.

Basaiawmoit said the first day's vaccination suffered some minor hiccups when some superstitious villages protested against the campaign.

"We will have to go to such villages and hold talks with the elders to educate them on the need to have vaccination against measles," Dr Basaiawmoit said.

Meghalaya is ranked below the national average at 58 per cent and even below Mizoram where measles eradication status stands at 62 per cent, Dr Basaiawmoit said quoting WHO report.

During the first phase of the anti-measles campaign conducted by the government last year, about 14 million children in the country were vaccinated.