Measles-Rubella Vaccination Campaign Targets 40 Million Children in India

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease, spread through close contact with infected persons. If there is just one person with measles on a crowded bus of 100 people, 90 others will become infected if they are not vaccinated. In 2013, it was reported that more than 50% of measles-associated deaths in the world occurred in India.

Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) remains committed to the fight against this deadly – but preventable – disease. The Lions of Multiple District 316 in India recently received a US$150,000 grant to support their efforts in a statewide measles-rubella (MR) vaccination campaign. Throughout August 2017, the campaign has vaccinated millions of children between 9 months and 15 years of age across the state of Andhra Pradesh.

Lions are known for their work in social mobilization and advocacy. For this campaign, local Lions worked with school administrators and parents to raise awareness around the importance of all children being vaccinated for MR and to allow government vaccination teams to vaccinate children who attend private schools.  For the first two weeks of the month, the campaign focused on schools, immunizing one school, one village, each day. The later half of the month focused on community-based vaccine centers for children who do not attend school.

LCIF continues efforts to help children around the world  committing to raise US$30 million by the end of 2017. If Lions and LCIF meet this goal working alongside Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the contributions will be matched by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, allowing LCIF and Lions to provide US$60 million for vaccinations.

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*Measles mortality in high and low burden districts of India: estimates from a nationally representative study of over 12,000 child deaths.
Morris SK, Awasthi S, Kumar R, Shet A, Khera A, Nakhaee F, Ram U, Brandao JR, Jha P, MDS Collaborators.
Vaccine. 2013 Sep 23; 31(41):4655-61.

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