A few days after the Union Health Ministry sent a multi-disciplinary team to Mumbai amid rising cases of Measles in children, the threat still looms over the city with 617 suspected cases of Measles, out of which 109 are confirmed.
Parents’ trepidation of their children being prey to the viral disease has alarmed schools to take ‘more-than-necessary’ precautions - from wearing face masks to not touching surfaces to following a healthy, balanced diet.
“We ensure all our students have undergone their vaccinations as per schedule. During routine interactions we remind parents and students to eat healthy food cooked hygienically,” said Mrs Madhu Wadke, Principal, Gopi Birla Memorial School, Walkeshwar.
The principal added that if a student or any staff member complains of fever or sore eyes, the school asks them to stay home until they completely recover.
According to the BMC data, Govandi, a suburban neighbourhood in eastern Mumbai is the worst hit with most cases coming from the area. Recently, three children from Govandi succumbed to Measles.
Ms Seema Kshatriya, Principal at Kanakia International School, Chembur, said the safety of the students is their priority. “Though the school hasn’t encountered any student infected with Measles, their safety is of utmost importance. All surfaces are sanitised at least thrice daily.”
She then mentioned that teachers keep reminding students about daily hygiene and to keep a watch for those with symptoms.
Mrs Raj Aloni, Principal, Ramsheth Thakur Public School, Khargarh, feels that precautionary measures are a must. “Food and health are taken care of very well. Recently, I bought hundred disposable pillow covers for our Recovery Room where sick students go to rest.” She stated that the same pillow covers would lead to spreading more germs, multiplying the infection further.
Meanwhile, Dr Raju Khubchandani, senior pediatrician, SRCC Hospital and HN Reliance Hospital, told the Free Press Journal that measles gives rise to respiratory complications in children; however, vaccinations are bringing the numbers down.
"In the last 10 to 12 years in my 41-year practising career, I had barely witnessed any case of measles until the sudden outbreak recently," said the child specialist. The doctor advised that children should be vaccinated in time and that their diet should have sufficient quantities of Vitamin A as it stabilises the respiratory tract.