Vaccination camps, daily surveys to fight the measles epidemic in the city

State Health Department team conducts surveys to see if there are more measles patients | YOF

The measles and rubella outbreak in the slums has sent the health department into turmoil as it scrambles for resources to screen more than 3,000 homes daily and organize vaccination camps.

The problem is compounded because most people living in these highly congested areas are reluctant to have their children vaccinated. The state health department sent alerts to all medical officers to track unvaccinated children in outbreak areas.

A three-member core team is already investigating Govandi where a recently deceased boy has been confirmed to have suffered from measles. Meanwhile, the BMC visited 705 houses and examined 3,907 people in Rafi Nagar of Govandi. Officials found six suspects with fevers and rashes.

In addition, five additional vaccination camps were held on Thursday to vaccinate children. A total of 130 children and 8 pregnant women were vaccinated, particularly against measles and rubella. These door-to-door surveys will be conducted daily for the next 10 days in Govandi, which had also reported the deaths of three children.

Deaths suspected of being due to measles are under the control of the BMC Death Review Committee. The central team has proposed measures that must be followed by the local medical officers of health and their team.

“We had visited the deceased family but they refused to meet us. We have provided an update on the upsurge in the surrounding area,” the state health department official said.

According to BMC data, 53 measles cases were detected between September and November 10. Among them, 21 cases are from Govandi.

Dr. Nitin Ambadekar, co-director of health services, said he asked the BMC to closely monitor the measles outbreak. “We have taken several measures which include screening, investigation and vaccination. We also asked them to give vitamin A drops to patients with suspected measles. Additionally, we asked them to track children who dropped out of vaccines and raise awareness through different modes of communication,” he said.

Senior health officials have said they will need more manpower to carry out daily door-to-door surveys at 3,000 homes in Rafi Nagar.

“Pockets of slums are a hotbed of measles”

According to a survey conducted by Raksha Hospital Research Forum (RHRF), an arm of Raksha Multispeciality Hospital in Malad, pockets of slums in congested localities like Malwani and Ganesh Nagar in the western suburbs are hotbeds of highly contagious measles.

RHRF experts suspect that there are more than 100 measles cases in the Mumbai Metropolitan Area (MMR). The hospital’s chief executive, Dr Pranav Kabra MD, said: “The BMC estimated over 58-60 measles cases in Mumbai (Wednesday evening). But our estimates indicate that at least 100 to 110 children could have measles across the MMR. »

The BMC should focus on pockets like Malwani, Govandi, Dharavi, Ganesh Nagar (Kandivali) and other pockets of slums where the population density is very high and where several children might live in a single slum, suggested Dr. Kabra, adding that even street children could possibly be infected.

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