Kerala government for vaccination survey in schools over Mallapuram dip

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Thiruvananthapuram, June 15 (IANS) Amid reports of rejection of the immunisation programme for school children in Muslim-dominated Malappuram district, the new Kerala government is planning a state-wide survey in government-run schools to find out the situation, said a state minister.

State Education Minister C. Raveendranath told reporters here on Wednesday that a survey is being planned across the state.

“We will seek the help of local bodies and the health department to find out the situation, and once it is done, suitable changes will be made,” said Raveendranath.

According to the standard health protocol followed by the state, by the age of seven, children should have undertaken immunisation against eight possible diseases. However, in Malappuram district the number of children who get vaccinated has been dipping, and according to latest figures, it is in the range of 93 per cent.

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One reason for the dip is due to the lack of interest shown by parents, despite the efforts of the Indian Medical Association and the district health authorities.

Though there has been no public campaign against vaccination, the religious and social groups in the district have termed it a personal choice, and have not shown much interest in highlighting the importance of vaccination.

The vaccination protocol includes taking shots to prevent tetanus, hepatitis-B, tuberculosis, poliomyelitis, diphtheria, meningitis and measles.

The state-run education department is trying its best to educate the people on the necessity of taking the vaccination and have come out with a circular.

Now with the first full business session of the new Kerala Assembly beginning on June 24, the education department is expected to announce the state-wide survey and remedial measures.

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