The state government started a special control room on Wednesday to monitor cases of adverse reactions reported from districts where the measles-rubella vaccination drive is underway.
According to data available, so far, 1.27 crore children have been immunised. Over 200 cases of adverse event following immunisation (AEFI) have been reported across Maharashtra, said Dr Sanjeev Kamble, director of Directorate of Health Services (DHS). “None are serious so far. A majority of the cases are mild and were managed at the out-patient department level,” he added.
According to Dr Archana Patil, joint director at DHS, the control room (022-22703785) will monitor each hospitalisation case due to AEFI and maintain records of the nature of adverse effects. “We realised we need a monitoring mechanism at the state level. District officials are maintaining data and treating all adverse reaction cases,” she said. The circular issued to district officials stated that a child must be kept under observation until symptoms of adverse reaction such as fever, nausea and vomiting, subside. Serious cases must be referred to district-level hospitals.
In Gadchiroli, medical officer Dr Ashwin Walke of Sironcha rural hospital said the cases of adverse reaction were found in a small percentage of children. “Most cases were of vomiting or nausea which is a global standard per cent of adverse reaction,” he added.
Measles, distinctive with skin rashes, is a contagious viral disease that can spread through coughing and sneezing. It remains the leading cause of death among children. Rubella is a milder form of measles. The vaccination drive began on November 27 and aims at covering 3.38 crore children aged between nine and 15 years.