Ministry of Health has, on Sunday, said that 70,000 individuals will receive the measles vaccine, under the recently launched Measles and Rubella Vaccination Campaign.
World Health Organization (WHO) has begun a campaign to eliminate measles and rubella in South-East Asia by 2020. According to WHO regulations, a disease can officially be eradicated three years after the last reported case.
Maldives has not reported any measles case since 2010.
Health Minister Abdulla Nazim, at a press conference on Sunday, said that the vaccination drive will be throughout the country vaccines were provided by the biggest health organization in the world.
“Maldives has eliminated malaria, polio, filaria. We are certain that we can eliminate measles within this year,” said the Minister.
WHO’s representative to the Maldives, Dr, Arvind Mathur was at the press conference as well.
He said that the recently launched campaign is funded by WHO, adding that a total of MVR 755,000 has been spent on vaccines for the campaign.
WHO’s South-East Asia Region comprises the following 11 Member States: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste.
Vaccinations will be provided in 11 stations in the capital Malé City alone.
According to the President's Office, people aged between 15 to 25 are targeted for vaccination within the next two weeks.
Launching of campaign
President Abdulla Yameen inaugurated the Maldives' Measles and Rubella Vaccination Campaign on Sunday morning.
The campaign was launched with the President presenting vaccination cards to the two employees at the President's Office, who were vaccinated.
Employees from the State Electric Company Pvt. Ltd. (STELCO) and student from Dharumavantha School were also vaccinated to mark the start of the nationwide campaign.
At the function, Health Minister Nazim noted that the 11 countries in the South Asia region "have set the goal of eliminating measles by the year 2020," adding that with the launch of the campaign "Maldives will become the first country to achieve the target within 2017."
He appealed to the public to fulfil their social duties in contributing to the vaccination campaign.