Mosques take up measles campaign

Taking the National Measles Vaccination Campaign to the next level, free vaccination will be administered to both citizens and expatriates after mass prayers on Friday at mosques across capital Muscat. Imams have announced the vaccination will be administered after the Juma prayers.
“All citizens and expatriates in the age group 20 to 35 years should get themselves vaccinated against measles as guided by the Ministry of Health,” Imam of Masjid Noor said after Thursday’s Maghrib prayers.
Although the second phase of the campaign will begin on September 10, the ministry has directed the medical teams to administer the vaccine at mosques after the Juma prayers in coordination with Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs and local masjid governing bodies.
The mobile teams will tour different wilayats for the purpose. Nearly 600,000 citizens and expatriates are expected to benefit.
The national campaign was launched after 50 people were diagnosed with measles earlier this year. The campaign has been divided into two phases. The first phase was carried out in Dhofar and Al Wusta governorates earlier.
Dr Amira said the first phase of the campaign, held in Salalah and Al Wusta, was a great success. “The second phase too will evoke good response from both citizens and residents alike.”
“The first phase of campaign, which targeted 20-35-year-old locals and expatriates, has been a runaway success,” she said.
During the campaign, which ended on May 24, all the health centres equipped with field teams saw a heavy rush. The objective is to reach more people through the second phase of the campaign.
Reasons for the rapid increase in the number of measles cases include a rise in the number of expatriates from the neighbouring countries and constant movement of people from countries that have experienced outbreaks of communicable diseases, including measles.

KABEER YOUSUF