Measles outbreaks in Govandi slums since January due to poor vaccination coverage | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Measles outbreaks in Govandi slums since January due to poor vaccination coverage

BySomita Pal
Nov 15, 2022 12:53 AM IST

The team found 60% of the measles cases did not take the vaccine and 40% did not take the second dose which is given on the 16th month since birth. The team also found that people have been reluctant in vaccinating their children

Mumbai: The Centre-appointed high-level multi-disciplinary team – that was sent to Mumbai to assess and manage the measles outbreak – found that Govandi slums had continuous waves of the disease since January.

Dr Shubhangi from the centre appointed team interacting with the mothers coming to the anaganwadi to vaccinate their children during the BMC’s special drive. (HT Photo)
Dr Shubhangi from the centre appointed team interacting with the mothers coming to the anaganwadi to vaccinate their children during the BMC’s special drive. (HT Photo)

The team was in the city for three days and linked the continuous outbreaks to poor vaccination coverage.

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An outbreak is a cluster of at least five cases from the same area or a confirmed measles death, as per the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Measles cases were sporadically reported across Mumbai, however, the Centre-appointed team found that there have been continuous outbreaks of measles in M-East ward’s Govandi slum,” said a senior state health official.

After taking a review from state and municipal health officials on Friday, the team visited Rafi Nagar, Govandi slum, where the three suspected measles deaths happened and had the maximum number of cases. On Sunday, the team also visited other wards in the city that had reported measles cases.

“They visited eleven wards including L ward (Kurla), P South, F North, K East, G South, M West, H East, G North, and P North. They highlighted that BMC has to strengthen their surveillance and vaccination drive in these areas. The same has been conveyed to the BMC health officials,” added the health official.

The team found 60% of the measles cases did not take the vaccine and 40% did not take the second dose which is given on the 16th month since birth. The team also found that people have been reluctant in vaccinating their children.

“They suggested that to tackle the hesitancy to vaccinate, the BMC has to increase its information, education and communication programme in these areas. It emphasised improving communication to improve vaccination numbers in these areas,” said the official.

During the team’s visit to the two families who lost their sons, allegedly to measles, the families blamed medical negligence at BMC-run Rajawadi Hospital where the children were taken. The team also visited the hospital and found it to be short-staffed.

The state health official said the centre is going to announce metropolitan surveillance units for measles in four metro cities, including Mumbai.

BMC started a special drive to find cases of fever and rashes on November 8 in Govandi slums and has so far found 120 suspected measles out of which 112 are children. The health officials said they administer Vitamin A to the suspected children to avoid further complications.

At present, Kasturba Hospital has 61 children with suspected measles admitted from across the city under observation out of which six are on oxygen support.

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