Myanmar’s Ministry of Health and Sports (MoHS) is seeking to contain an outbreak of measles that has already infected an estimated 1,300 people across the country and caused one death. The outbreak has affected many parts of Myanmar including the Yangon Region, where 248 laboratory-confirmed cases of measles were reported between January 1 and February 4, 2019, compared to 646 cases in the whole of 2018.
In response, the Yangon Regional Health Department launched a supplementary measles immunization campaign on February 17 in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). By February 28, the campaign seeks to immunize an estimated 580,000 children between nine months and fifteen years of age in seven townships where measles is prevalent: Hlaingtharya, Shwepyithar, Insein, Mingaladon, South Dagon, East Dagon and Dagon Seikkan.
On February 25, CPI mobilized in support of the campaign to help identify unvaccinated children in areas already covered by vaccination teams in five quarters of Insein township. CPI deployed a member of staff to visit households in the township, accompanied by a representative from the MoHS Township Health Department. CPI’s role was to provide an independent source of verification of immunization coverage for the campaign.
CPI’s staff member met with approximately 100 households in Insein township to provide health information on measles and check whether any children had not been able to access vaccinations. In total, twenty unvaccinated children were identified. In these cases, the staff member provided the family with detailed information about the nearest health facility where they could go to receive the vaccination. The household details were also provided to the Township Health Department so that they could follow up and encourage the family to complete the immunization process before the end of the campaign.