Authorities appealed to citizens not to get swayed by false video being circulated on WhatsApp and social media.

Hyderabad Old City schools refuse to vaccinate children authorities allay fearsImage for representation
news Health Friday, September 01, 2017 - 07:55

In a major setback to the ongoing immunisation drive in Telangana and Hyderabad, over 100 schools from the Old City area have reportedly sent 'letters of refusal' to participate in the measles – rubella vaccination camp.

The MR-VAC vaccine, which prevents measles and rubella, is generally administered to children between the ages of nine months and 15 years.

The Deccan Chronicle reported that 2,090 school of the 3,639 schools in Hyderabad have been covered under the drive so far, but a large number of children in the Old City area have refused vaccination. 

Dr G. Sudhera, programme officer, health department told DC, “The immunisation programme has also been ineffective in certain schools where the staff, swayed by rumours spread through the social media, tendered ‘frank refusals’ or hindered the in-school immunisation drive.”

Breaking down the statistics, The Hindu reported that only 42.8% or 4,01,585 children out of the targeted 9,49,605 children in Telangana were vaccinated.

This comes one week after the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) said that it was conducting awareness programmes to dispel myths, after several schools in the city did not want to participate in the ongoing vaccination drive.

The GHMC also appealed to citizens not to get swayed by false video and audio clips being circulated on WhatsApp and social media.

Troubled by rumours and misinformation doing the rounds, authorities also roped in senior Muslim scholars for help.

The World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nations International Children Fund (Unicef), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the US, held a meeting on Friday along with several Muslim leaders, to help spread awareness about the need for immunisation on the ground.

Jamiat-ul Ulema e Hind Secretary, Mufti Mahmood Zubair Qasmi, made an appeal on Thursday saying, “Rumours about vaccination is a conspiracy against the citizens of old city. I urge the parents of children to cooperate in the vaccination drive and help eliminate measles."

“Immunization is mandatory for children between nine months and 15 years. It will not only help combat diseases, but safeguard future generations," Dr Imaduddin, paediatrician with Esra Hospital, was quoted as saying.



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