Campaign to cover 95 per cent

Free measles vaccination will be administered to all citizens and residents aged 20 to 35 years from September 10 to 16 as part of second phase of National Measles Immunisation Campaign (NMIC). The first phase of vaccination was held last month in Dhofar and Al Wusta governorates.
At a meeting called by the Ministry of Health (MoH) to discuss preparations for the second phase of NMIC, Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Saeedi, Minister of Health, on Wednesday called on citizens and residents born between 1997 and 1982 to get themselves vaccinated at the nearest health institutions and vaccination centres.
“The campaign targets citizens as well as expatriates in the Sultanate. Those in this age group should head to the nearest health centre and get vaccinated to protect themselves from measles,” he said.
The minister said the Sultanate is in the process of eliminating measles and rubella and has adopted many strategies, including epidemiological surveillance plans and preventive measures.
“We seek good health for citizens and residents living in the country and try to provide the best health services to ensure a better life for all.”
Dr Saif al Abri, DG, Directorate-General for Diseases Surveillance and Control (DGDSC), said the campaign aims at vaccinating 95 per cent of the population.
He lauded the expatriate communities for supporting the campaign.
Bader al Rawahi, Head of the Immunisation Department, spoke of the general planning before, during and after the campaign.
He said the health workers were divided into “stable and mobile teams” to cover the targeted population.
“We have teams inside health centres and clinics affiliated to the ministry as well as inside other medical establishments such as the Military Hospital and Sultan Qaboos Hospital. Mobile teams administer vaccination in public places, colleges, schools and malls.”
He said the private sector was taking the initiative as several private health institutions have opened their doors to receive people (for vaccinations).

Khalid al Farsi, Head of the Vaccination Department, elaborated on the “cold chain” adopted by the campaign. “It is a system of storage of vaccines in a controlled temperature to maintain quality and safety. We have 10 regional stores across wilayats and they have been supplied with adequate quantity of vaccines.”
The meeting was attended by under-secretaries and health affairs adviser, along with number of senior officials from the ministry, Directorates-General of Health Services in the governorates and regional hospitals.
Representatives from the civil and military health institutions were also present. — Picture by Khalfan al Toobi

Zainab al Nassri