For the first time in Uttar Pradesh,World Health Organisation – National Polio Survey Project (WHO-NPSP) is planning to start a laboratory-supported measles surveillance from July 1 to trace measles outbreaks in the state.
The surveillance will be conducted after the catch-up campaign for measles is completed across the state in May. The fifth and final phase of measles catch-up campaign – aimed at giving the second dosage of measles vaccine to all children between 9 months and 10 years – was started in 23 districts of eastern UP on Monday.
The laboratory for the surveillance will be established by WHO-NPSP in collaboration with the state government at Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS),Lucknow and samples from across the state will be tested in the lab for measles. As of now,14 states in the country have laboratories for measles surveillance.
The idea behind the surveillance,said Madhup Bajpai,State Routine Immunisation Officer – Uttar Pradesh,WHO-NPSP,is to assess the impact of the measles catch-up campaign which is going on across the state since December 2012. The information was shared by Bajpai during a press conference held in Lucknow on Monday.
Secondly,the surveillance will also report the number of outbreaks of measles across the state and hence point out the gaps in routine immunisation camps as well as generate database for measles for future reference,said Bajpai. Under the surveillance project,NPSP will use its polio network which has been reporting acute flaccid paralysis cases of polio across the state,for reporting measles cases as well. Though measles is a notifiable disease,the reporting of measles outbreak so far has been done symptomatically and clinically rather than through lab testing.