#MavesJahaifin: The largest ever Measles and Rubella Vaccination Campaign launched in the Maldives
- The campaign is led and coordinated by Health Protection Agency and the Ministry of Health in partnership with Ministry of Education, Ministry of Economic Development, WHO Maldives and UNICEF Maldives. This is the largest vaccination campaign launched in the country so far.
Minister of Health H.E Abdulla Ameen launched the nationwide Maves Jahaifin Measles and Rubella mass vaccination campaign at Aminiya School. The campaign is led and coordinated by Health Protection Agency and the Ministry of Health in partnership with Ministry of Education, Ministry of Economic Development, WHO Maldives and UNICEF Maldives. This is the largest vaccination campaign launched in the country so far. The launching ceremony was attended by State Ministers and senior officials from Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, WHO Representative Dr Arvind Mathur, UNICEF, Maldivian Red Crescent, students, teachers and media.
During the launch of the Measles and Rubella Vaccination Campaign, Minister of Health H.E Abdulla Ameen and Minister of State for Education Dr Fathimath Naseer handed over the vaccination certifications to the students, teachers and staff of Aminiya School. “The aim of this campaign to complete MR vaccination dosage for 100% of students and other target audiences; everyone working and living in the Maldives.” said H.E Abdulla Ameen, “I recommend parents and students to give importance to fulfilling all vaccine requirements as per national schedule.”
Maldives has been validated for Measles Elimination in 2017 by WHO. However, in early January 2020; an outbreak has been reported with 12 positives cases as of date. Per post elimination Outbreak Control and Response Plan, the actions are initiated including activating task force, ring vaccination and community mobilization. In line with recommendations from Maldives Technical Advisory Group on Immunization, Regional Immunization Technical Advisory Group and WHO; an MR Campaign was proposed with inclusion of Migrant population to bridge the immunity gaps.
“Maves Jahaifin” (in English: “I’ve received my shot”) Campaign therefore targets all Maldivians between the age of 6 months and 40 years, who have not received two doses of Measles-containing vaccines. The campaign will also be further expanded to expatriates living and working in Maldives, irrespective of their age and proof of vaccination. Immunization sessions will be held in schools and public places to ensure wider community reach.
The target number for the Campaign is 410,000 Maldivians and expatriates; making the campaign the largest of its kind in the Maldives so far. The campaign, which will continue for 3 months, was kick startedat Aminiya School; with participation from students, teachers and staff of the school. It is set to be conducted in two phases; phase one from 24th February to 15th March 2020 for people living in greater Male’ Region. The second phase from 15th March to 15th April 2020 targets further expansion to people living in the islands across the nation.
WHO continues to technically support the campaign and all outbreak response and preparedness measures, and has also deployed an international consultant for outbreak investigation and support efforts. Based on scientific evidence, WHO guides the Health Protection Agency to carry forward the campaign effectively.
Measles and Rubella Elimination by 2023 is amongst Regional Flagship priorities for WHO South East Asia. Routine measles vaccination for children, combined with mass immunization campaigns in countries are amongst the key public health strategies to reduce measles cased and related-deaths. WHO recommends immunization for all susceptible children and adults for whom measles vaccination is not contraindicated.