The Importance of MR Immunization

Indonesia has already beaten smallpox, polio, maternal and neonatal tetanus. Now the country is focusing for Measles and Rubella elimination, which is also a Regional and Global priority. Indonesia is one of the top 10 countries with the highest number of measles cases in the world.
Measles is a respiratory disease caused by a virus and one of the most contagious diseases. Millions of people worldwide get measles each year, and thousands die from the disease. The symptoms of measles generally appear about seven to 14 days after a person is infected. Measles typically begins with high fever, rash, with or without cough, runny nose, or red watery eyes (conjunctivitis). Measles can be serious because of its complication, children below 5 years old and adults above 20 years old more likely to suffer from measles complications. Severe complications that commonly appear are pneumonia, encephalitis, meningitis, diarrhea, and even can cause death. Measles is very contagious, it spreads when infected people sneeze or cough, 90% of the people close to that person who are not protected will also become infected. Someone can immune if they immunized or infected with the measles virus.
Likely similar as measles, rubella is an infectious disease caused by virus. The virus is also transferred person to person through contact with infected droplets in the air from the person with rubella coughing, sneezing or laughing. The illness may begin with swollen glands and progress to a fever, tiredness, conjunctivitis, and a rash. Rubella infection during pregnancy can cause miscarriage, death of the baby, or for the baby to be born with severe abnormalities (Congenital Rubella Syndrome), including deafness, blindness, heart defects, and brain damage. There is no treatment for measles or rubella disease, but it actually can be prevented. How do we prevent measles and rubella? Immunization is the best way to prevent measles and rubella.
Both measles and rubella viruses are widely circulating in Indonesia and thousands of cases are reported annually. You can protect all children against these two diseases with safe, effective vaccination. Getting MR vaccine is much safer than getting measles or rubella diseases and its related risk or complications.
Therefore, SCOPH CIMSA collaborating with World Health Organization will be conducting MR immunization campaign that will be held in Medan, North Sumatera. This campaign is aimed to vaccinate more than 35 million children in the age group of 9 months to 15 years with MR vaccine. Hopefully with this campaign we can eliminating measles and rubella diseases to acieve the ambitious goals, the world without measles, rubella, and congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) as it written in Global Measles and Rubella Strategic Plan 2012 – 2020.