Measles and Rubella(MR) vaccination launched in Rayagada: Children’s health priority of district administration

Report by Badal Tah; Rayagada, January 29: “I reiterate that the MR campaign has to be given top priority as it is aimed to eradicate two deadly diseases within a timeframe. It is a mammoth task where health personnel being supported by the teaching staff & guided by top echelons of local bureaucrats will vaccinate 323733 children in the age range of nine months to fifteen years. The children from govt and private schools will be included in the first phase and then young children from 1947 Anganwadi centres during second phase. There will be a pop-up programme for the leftout in the third phase. All this process must end within 26th March this year”, said Smt Guha Punam Tapas Kumar, IAS, Collector, Rayagada, who alongwith the CDMO and DPM launched the programme at Ekalbya Model Residential School at Barijhola, Kendriya Vidyalaya, Vignan School and Navodaya Vidyalaya.

Sri Prabir Nayak, Sub-Collector, Rayagada successfully launched the programme in the recently flood ravaged Kalyan Singhpur block. The vaccination was done in thirty three schools in toto where officers like Gunupur Sub-Collector, PA-ITDA Gunupur & Rayagada, PD-DRDA, DPC, DSWO, DWO, ADEO including all BDOs launched the programme. Though indicative, the achievement percentage for the whole district is 84% whereas it is 95% in Kolnara block, which is highest among all the eleven blocks of Rayagada. And certainly the credit goes to Smt Shantiprabha Pradhan who shoulders dual responsibilities of BDO-Kolnara and Executive Officer-Rayagada municipality. During the recent Republic day in Rayagada, Smt Pradhan has also been felicitated as the best BDO in achievement of Rural Housing in Kolnara block during the financial year 2016-17.

The achievements in Gunupur urban and Gunupur are the lowest in the district, ie, 71% and 73% respectively. Chandrapur and Ramanaguda stand as 75%. All these statistics reflect that all is not well in Gunupur sub-division where Sri Amrit Rituraj, IAS is the sub-collector.

As the administrative officers were mainly engaged in block, sub-division and district headquarters, this correspondent decided to have a reality check in an interior school in Gudari block which is around eighty kilometers from the district headquarters. After reaching Gudari one has to traverse through serpentine road with innumerable potholes for five kilometers to a residential school at Muliput under Asada GP. It takes almost half an hour by a four wheeler though the road was constructed three years back with the assistance from Integrated Action Plan(IAP). The special funds from IAP is given by GOI to Naxal affected areas to have qualitative work. Hence, Sub-Collector has various challenges including horrible communication in this hinterland. He needs to go beyond his usual transect walk as a part of rapid & participatory rural appraisal.

It was five minutes past eleven and the headmaster of the school Sri Aswini Kumar Khadanga alongwith all teachers, ANM(GP) Ms Sunita Nayak, ANM(SSD) Ms Rajeswari Sunamudi, ASHA Ms Satyabati Sabara and Dr.J P Samantaray are religiously waiting for Sri Gorachand Gomango, PA-ITDA, Gunupur to arrive and launch the programme. The school has 374 students from class-I to class-VII out of which 220 are boys and 154 girls. Sensing a time constraint, this correspondent requested the team to start the process and they readily agreed. A tiny tot named Kumari Sonali Sabara, daughter of Jagabandhu Sabara of Bamunidangara village from class-I was the first tribal girl to be vaccinated. She was really brave. She did not cry like her town counterparts in Kendriya Vidyalaya in Rayagada & only closed her eyes during vaccination. A group of young tribal children posed for a photograph with their thumbs up. It was like a festival in the school and the teaching staff created a conducive atmosphere to exhibit the brevity of adibasi children. Apart from minor aberrations, the vaccination was a grand success under the leadership of child friendly Collector Guha.


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