Even though there are no significant number of coronavirus cases in Nepal, deadly contagion has managed to disrupt every aspect of human life in the country.
The coronavirus has restricted people to their homes, hindered the tourism sector, impeded revenue collection and collapsed the economy of the country, among others.
Lately, the COVID-19 threat has affected the immunisation campaign for Nepali children.
In the wake of growing threat posed by the deadly virus, the Nepali Government has postponed all immunisation programmes related to vaccination, vitamin supplementation and worm control in the country for an indefinite period.
“These campaigns have been postponed in view of the increasing number of coronavirus cases in the country,” said Jhalak Gautam, Child Health and Immunisation Section Chief at the Department of Health Services.
“Conducting these campaigns is difficult amidst the lockdown when the government is facing difficulty in mobilising volunteers,” he added. “Also, people have to maintain proper distance to help prevent the coronavirus spread.”
With this decision, millions of Nepali children will miss measles and rubella vaccination, Vitamin A drops and de-worming tablets.[MUST READ: Nepal Becomes Trachoma-Free Nation]
According to the Nepali Government, at least 3 million children aged between 6 months and 5 years are supposed to get Vitamin A drops on April 18 – 19, 2020. And, around 2.35 million children aged 1 to 5 years should take de-worming tablets.
Now, the children will miss the second phase of the measles and rubella mass vaccination programme that began in Bagmati, Gandaki, Karnali and Sudurpaschim Provinces on March 14, 2020.
However, the government has already launched the first phase of the measles-rubella immunisation programme on February 13, 2020 in Provinces 1, 2 and 5.[ALSO READ: WHO South-East Asia: Nepal Successful in Curbing Rubella]
Every year, the Nepali Government conducts immunisation programme to prevent 11 diseases in children.
The diseases include-
Every year, around 620,000 Nepali children receive these vaccines.
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