One more child dies of measles in Govandi, toll rises to 13 in Mumbai

One more child died of measles in Govandi on Thursday, taking the death toll in the area to seven. Thirteen measles deaths have been reported in Mumbai so far.

The child was admitted to a civic-run hospital on November 20 after he developed fever, cough, cold, maculopapular rash and respiratory problems. His symptoms worsened and he was transferred to a civic-run specialty hospital where he was put on a ventilator to maintain oxygen saturation. On November 24, the child’s condition continued to deteriorate and he developed multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, succumbing to the infection.

As per the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the child died of multiple organ dysfunction syndrome with Bronchopneumonia and measles.

Govandi, which is at the lowest rung in the human development index in Mumbai, has around 40 measles patients who are mostly undergoing treatment at Shivajinagar maternity home and Kasturba Gandhi Hospital. However, health volunteers and officials are struggling to convince residents to get their children vaccinated. Out of the 7,000 children who missed their vaccination against measles, 3,000 have been vaccinated so far through special vaccination camps.

When The Indian Express visited the vaccination camps, one of the anganwadi workers complained that though the slum-dwellers promise to get their children vaccinated, later they don’t do so. “Often, the children get rashes or fever after getting the jab. Later, this spreads as gossip that the children developed adverse effects, which discourages others from getting the jab,” said an anganwadi worker.

The BMC has roped in local maulanas who are sensitising the locals about the importance of vaccines over loudspeakers. “Have you ever noticed a mark on the upper arms of your elders? It is from vaccines which show that they have also taken the jabs. So, I can assure that it is safe and doesn’t have side-effects,” a maulana was announcing on a mike in Babanagar, Govandi, on Thursday.

Dr Upalimitra Waghmarem, medical officer of the area, said they have roped in officials from the anti-malaria squad who have years in counselling patients.

Meanwhile, the state’s confirmed measles cases stood at 603. Of which, Malegaon civic corporation reported 62 cases and Bhiwandi civic corporation reported 36 cases.

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