Report by Badal Tah; Rayagada: Mrs Guha Punam Tapas Kumar, IAS, Collector, Rayagada has once again emphasized the convergence of services of health, education, ST & SC Devt, ICDS departments for absolute coverage of MR(Measles & Rubella) vaccination in the entire district which was launched on 29th January. Within less than twenty five days of its launching, 83.5% of the target group of children from nine months to fifteen years have been successfully vaccinated. While in other districts of Odisha, there are reports of serious side effects and even deaths, Rayagada has not yet witnessed any such happenings.
Guha herself is not only concerned about these two dreaded viral diseases and involved in the launching ceremony but also strictly monitoring the entire campaign through top officers like CDMO, ADMO, Medical Officers, DPM, BPMs, PD-DRDA, PA-ITDAs, Sub-Collectors, DEO, ADEO, BEOs, BDOs, CDPOs. Recently during a review meeting held at DRDA conference hall for all the said officers, she applauded the sincere effort of BEO(Block Education Officer), Kashipur for having the highest achievement of 92% within a period of twenty days. As in Kolnara block the achievement was 82%, being the lowest, the concerned BEO was warned to accelerate the process.
“Block Level Task Force(BLTF) meeting consisting of BDOs, CDPOs, BEOs and Medical Officers(I/c) need to meet twice and as a mop-up measure, revisit the micro-plan done for this MR campaign and redraft it for the left out 59170 children. As the achievement cover for the community is at higher side, the focus must now to integrate the school drop-outs and the young children at Anganwadi Centres. The BEOs must ensure that the PTA(Parents & Teachers) and SMC(School Management Committee) meetings are conducted in all the schools next Friday to check the deplorable situation, if any. Though the campaign ends by March 26th with a target coverage of 323728 children, nobody should wait till that and complete the vaccination process by March 15th. The authorities violating the instructions will be taken to task”, said Collector Guha.
As per the reports from the field, certain pockets dominated by Christian population in Padmapur, Gunupur and Ramanaguda blocks are lagging behind vaccination due to rumors spread by a video mentioning that the effects of the vaccines would have long term impact like impotency. Kulusing, Putasing and Chinasari GPs are highly affected. Though the local medical staff have tried their level best to counter this video which has gone viral, there is least influence on the communities. Collector suggested for third party involving local PRI members, opinion leaders, NGOs & media persons, who would move to these pockets and interact with the people, especially with tribals to understand the need of MR vaccination and not to sway away with the rumors. Guha’s intervention at different nodes to make the district fully vaccinated will certainly go a long way in totally eradicating measles and rubella from Rayagada, said the denizens of Rayagada.