National immunisation plan for measles starts in Oman
May 14, 2017 | 9:26 PM
by Deeba Hasan/ [email protected]
Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Saidi, Minister of Health, while announcing the vaccine programme, said that the ministry had monitored the prevalence of measles in the Sultanate and revealed there were 114 confirmed cases in 2016. Photo-ONA
 
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Muscat: Oman’s national immunisation programme to curb the outbreak of measles began with the first phase being implemented in the Dhofar and Al Wusta regions on Sunday, tweeted the Ministry of Health (MoH).

Announced last week, due to an outbreak of the disease, the measles, rubella and mumps vaccine (MMR) is being made available at no cost and is mandatory for all Omani citizens and residents between the ages of 20 and 35.

The vaccine is being distributed at all local health centres setup by the MoH.

Saud Al Jenaibi, a resident of Ras Medraka in Al Wusta, said he had heard of the announcement made by the ministry but had no details about it. “Someone I know at our village had it done yesterday morning at the health centre.

“They said it’s mandatory for everyone, and so all of us need to take it, but I haven’t been able to gather details on it, which is why I didn’t go. My brother said that it’s important, and everyone needs to take it, so we will be going soon.”

Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Saidi, Minister of Health, while announcing the vaccine programme, said that the ministry had monitored the prevalence of measles in the Sultanate and revealed there were 114 confirmed cases in 2016.

This year, by the end of April, 44 cases of measles have been recorded. Oman had effectively wiped out the virus, but the minister said, “The increase in cases of measles in the Sultanate is attributed to the increase in the number of people arriving from neighbouring countries, and the increase in people travelling through the country from countries that are experiencing the outbreaks of several diseases.

“The Oman outbreak coincides with the global epidemic of measles, with outbreaks in several neighbouring countries, as well as in the Americas and Europe,” he noted.

“An analysis carried out by the ministry indicated that the age group 20-35 years is the most vulnerable to measles in Oman,”

he said.

The first phase of the vaccination plan started yesterday, May 14, and will continue until May 20. The dates for the other governorates will be announced later.

For enquiries, reports, complaints and suggestions,the public is asked to contact the call centre of the Ministry of Health at 24441999.


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