Former Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Tuesday alleged the Eknath Shinde-BJP government is not serious in tackling the measles outbreak.
Tope claimed 14 children have died due to measles in the state so far but the government is not doing enough. “Healthcare is the prime responsibility of the government which should wake up from its slumber,” he told reporters in Jalna.
Tope, who was the health minister in the erstwhile Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, suggested the government form task forces, speed up the vaccination programme and spread awareness about measles. “The government should rope in the education department for working with the health department. Measles is an infectious disease which spreads easily,” he said.
Meanwhile, Jalna district vaccination officer Jayshree Bhasure said four measles patients had been detected in the district and three of them recovered while one child is undergoing treatment. “68 suspected samples were sent to the laboratory of which 13 samples returned negative. We are awaiting the result of the remaining samples,” Bhasure said, adding 500 children have been vaccinated.
According to the National Immunisation Programme, the measles vaccine has to be administered in two doses at 9 and 15 months of age. Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that mostly affects younger children.