Free measles vaccination in huge push to end it once and for all

CityNews – Dr. Jatuchai Maneerat, a Chiang Mai provincial public health doctor, was chairman for a nationwide measles vaccination project to inoculate children between 1 – 12 years old. The Chiang Mai event was held on 14th November 2019 at Wat Don Chan School, Tha Sala.

The Ministry of Public Health has reported about an increase in measles in many countries e.g. Madagascar, India, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, and Myanmar.  Earlier this year some cities in USA also found the spread of measles.  In Thailand, the number of measles patients had been decreasing continuously over the years, but from 2016 onwards, the numbers have somewhat increased.  In 2018, there were 2,926 measles patients in Thailand, 23 of whom died. This year (up till 21st June 2019) there were 1,908 patients, 12 of whom died.  Most of the patients were less than one year old, followed by the ages 1 – 4 years old, 20 -29 years old, 5 – 9 years old and 30 – 35 years old, respectively.  After investigation, it was found that 84% of the patients didn’t receive vaccination or were not sure whether they had received it.  In Thailand measles vaccinations had been given to 9 month old children since 1984.  However, there are still some children who haven’t received complete vaccination.

Data from the bureau of epidemiology, disease control department of Chiang Mai provincial health office revealed that in 2019 (up till 10th November 2019), there were 561 patients, and no one died of measles.  Top five districts (with measles patients) were Mueang, Sansai, Mae Jaem, Fang, and Mae Ai, respectively.  Most patients were 0 – 4 years old, followed by 15 -24, 25 -34, 5-9, and 10 -14, respectively.  Places where disease was found were crowded places like prisons, military camp, factories, boarding schools and even in some public health service places and among non-Thai citizens in remote areas.

So, Chiang Mai Public Health Office together with Office of disease prevention & control 1 (Chiang Mai) has held a supporting plan to vaccinate children of 1 – 12 years old against measles (2019 – 2020) according to Thailand’s plan to get rid of measles.  The 14th November event also featured an exhibition giving knowledge about measles. A caravan of public health volunteers are prepared for a nationwide search Of both Thai and non-Thai children to find those who haven’t received vaccination.

Dr. Jatuchai added that common symptoms of measles include high fever with red rashes on the face and body, inflamed throat, eyes and ears, and diarrhea.  Parents are requested to check records of their children’s vaccinations.  If they miss a booster or have not received one at all, please bring them to state-run hospitals or public health service centres anywhere.  More information can be obtained from any health service place near their home or by contacting Chiang Mai provincial health office 053-211048 ext. 110 or hotline of disease control department 1422.