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India Honoured with Measles and Rubella Champion Award for Exceptional Public Health Leadership

Washington DC: In recognition of India’s relentless efforts to combat Measles and Rubella, the country has been honoured with the prestigious Measles and Rubella Champion Award by The Measles and Rubella Partnership. The award ceremony took place at the American Red Cross Headquarters in Washington D.C., USA, on March 6th, 2024. Ambassador Sripriya Ranganathan, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of India, Washington D.C., received the award on behalf of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

The Measles and Rubella Partnership is a collaborative effort involving a multi-agency planning committee, including the American Red Cross, BMGF, GAVI, US CDC, UNF, UNICEF, and WHO. This partnership is dedicated to reducing global measles deaths and preventing rubella illness.

The award commends India’s steadfast commitment to public health and outstanding leadership in curbing the spread of measles and rubella among children. It specifically acknowledges India’s regional leadership in the measles and rubella elimination program, using ‘measles as a tracer’ to strengthen routine immunization under the country’s Universal Immunization Programme (UIP). Despite facing challenges, India has made remarkable progress in reducing measles and rubella cases, preventing outbreaks through comprehensive interventions.

The proactive MR vaccination campaign in high-risk areas, innovative strategies to reach underserved populations, robust surveillance systems, and effective public awareness initiatives have played a crucial role in safeguarding the health and well-being of the population. The award is a tribute to the dedication and hard work of frontline health workers, healthcare professionals, policymakers, and communities across the nation. Their collective efforts have resulted in 50 districts consistently reporting no measles cases, while 226 districts have not reported rubella cases in the past 12 months.

Measles and Rubella are vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs), and the MR Vaccine has been part of India’s Universal Immunization Programme since 2017. The Government of India is actively working towards eliminating measles and rubella from the country. The Measles and Rubella Champion Award is a testament to India’s progress and commitment to ensuring a healthier future for its citizens.

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