Preparations under way for measles-free society

The second phase of the national campaign for a measles free society will be implemented by the Ministry of Health in coordination
with the private sector and community level organisations from September 10-16.
Except for Al Wusta and Dhofar governorates, the campaign includes all the governorates of the Sultanate.
Sayyid Saud bin Hilal al Busaidy, Minister of State and Governor of Muscat, will officially inaugurate the campaign at Al Khuwair North Health Centre in Muscat.
The government and private health institutions and the Sultan Qaboos University Hospital will welcome citizens and residents (in the age group 20-35). The campaign will contribute to eradicating measles, halting the incidence of the disease, reducing the severity of the disease, closing the immune gaps and strengthening the immunity of the society.
The Ministry of Health has urged all citizens and residents aged between 20 and 35 years (born between 1982 to 1997) to go to health centres according to the dates specified for each governorate to receive immunisation in order to protect them from infections.
The campaign for a measles free society is expected to have a wide-spread support from the private, government as well as social and community organisations.
The vaccination will be available at the nearest health institutions free of charge during morning and evening shifts.
According to officials at Badr al Samaa Hospital, the vaccination will be offered free of cost, but the residents should present the copy of their passport or the resident card.

The ideal time to report for vaccination will be 10 am.
The ministry has begun the process of distributing the boxes of vaccines to institutions both in the cities and far-flung areas.
The Ministry of Manpower too has been distributing awareness leaflets on measles vaccination to both Omani and expatriate workers in the private sector.
The department of blood bank services is organising a campaign where measles vaccination will be offered immediately after a blood donation camp on September 9.
Several organisations dealing directly with the public like Mwasalat and Oifc have also joined the awareness campaigns.
In its campaign, the ministry says that measles is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus, which affect the cells lining of the mouth and the lungs.
It remains one of the leading causes of death among children under the age of five globally.
Unvaccinated children, pregnant woman, unvaccinated persons and people with weak immune system are said to be at risk.
Measles vaccination has been the most effective and successful preventive interventions to contain the spread of the disease. One is enough to protect from the disease.

Vinod Nair

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