The Epidemiological Unit of the Health Ministry announced today the introduction of a new Mumps vaccine under the National Immunisation programme.
Dr. Paba Palihawadana, Chief Epidemiologist introducing the new vaccine said “The Epidemiological Unit is introducing a new vaccine after 3-years and this new Mumps vaccine will no doubt strengthen the National Immunisation programme further which was re-positioned in January this year with a more robust theme and a comprehensive awareness campaign.”
The Health Ministry partnered with UNICEF to launch an awareness campaign on the importance of immunisation and its benefits to the public early this year. The campaign launched under the theme “Let sleeping demons sleep” was aimed at strengthening the Government’s efforts to eliminate serious communicable diseases such as; Polio, Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Hepatitis B, Haemophilias Influenza type B, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Japanese Encephalitis from Sri Lanka.
Addressing the media, Dr. Sudath Peiris, Asst. Epidemiologist said, “The re-positioning of the National Immunisation Campaign took a very progressive direction this year. With the support of the UNICEF, we drew up a multi-faceted awareness campaign which included the media, the medical fraternity, parents and the school academia of this country. As a result of this intense programme Sri Lanka’s National Immunisation Programme has got back on track to again become one of the most recognised initiatives in the world.”
This year saw many overseas medical delegates visiting Sri Lanka to study its immunisation programme. “Representatives from 11 South East Asian countries including India and Iran underwent comprehensive training on immunisation related issues and prevention this year in Sri Lanka and we are proud to be a global facilitator in humanity’s drive on eradicating vaccine preventable diseases,” said Dr. Ananda Amarasinghe, Asst. Epidemiologist.
Under the immunisation campaign that was launched on 24 January this year with the patronage of Minister for Health, Maithripala Sirisena, high-impact communication initiatives such as advertising, public relations, media relations, school competitions and other awareness programmes were carried out to make citizens understand the critical importance of immunisation and align their support for the campaign. As a result of this programme the confidence levels of the masses have been strengthened towards the National Immunisation Programme and there is a record increase in the numbers that get immunised vis-à-vis the previous two years.
Immunisation is a proven tool for controlling and eliminating life-threatening infectious diseases and is estimated to avert over 2 million deaths globally each year.
All vaccines used in the National immunisation programme in Sri Lanka strictly adhere to the high quality and safety standards recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).