Mumbai: Amid a surge in measles cases across the city, the BMC is planning to vaccinate homeless children, who remain deprived of regular vaccination owing to ignorance among the poor migrant strata. Senior health officials said they have directed medical officers from all wards to make a list of vulnerable children at risk of contracting measles.
A senior health officer said, “Every child is important, whether from a rich or poor family. It’s the right of every child and we are trying to cover the entire population. A sudden, untimely outbreak has led to deaths of infants as all were unvaccinated. Immunisation for all children in Mumbai up to five years is therefore mandatory.”
Another official said every day is a struggle for homeless families on footpaths and under the bridges. They are often left behind in vaccination schedules. For their safety, he said, they need to be listed by wards concerned.
Another civic officer said, “We are taking all necessary steps to vaccinate children who have missed or skipped vaccination doses. We will also list children of labourers working at construction sites. Specia camps will be organised at these sites for them.”
Officials said these camps will be held in the evenings as most of these children beg or sell goods at signals during the day. Many children accompany their parents to work at construction sites and return only in the evening.
(If you have a story in and around Mumbai, you have our ears, be a citizen journalist and send us your story here. )