THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Bolstering the efforts of the Health Department in preventing a possible outbreak of communicable diseases post-floods, the State Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (STAGI) has decided to conduct measles-rubella (MR) and tetanus toxoid (TT) vaccination drives in the flood-hit areas. The advisory group which has also decided to ensure Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) management kits at vaccination sites.
“The chances of measles and tetanus infections post-floods were high. While it is the children who fall under the high-risk category for measles, tetanus can affect the flood-affected people and also volunteers,” said Dr S Ushakumari, additional director health services (family welfare).
An officer with the State Prevention of Epidemics and Infectious Diseases Cell stated that the risk of wounds during cleaning drives and related exposure, ups the risk of infection. The officer also added that as per a World Health Organization directive vaccination of infants and children against measles should become one of the most important public health response measures after a disaster.
When asked about this, Dr Bipin K Gopal of National Health Mission said a directive has already been issued to the Reproductive and Child Health Officers regarding the conduct of MR and TT vaccination drives and Arogyasena and ASHA workers will also be roped in for the same.
Meanwhile, the STAGI has also decided to provide the volunteers involved in rescue operations with TT vaccine.
The field-level activities for the vaccination drive are proposed to be launched first at Ernakulam on Monday and then it will be widened to Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta districts.