Indonesia to be free of rubella by 2020: President Jokowi

Yogyakarta (ANTARA News) – President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has expressed his hope that Indonesia would be free of rubella and measles by 2020.

“I fully support the national campaign on immunization to protect the children from measles and rubella,” the Head of State said, when launching a national campaign on Measles and Rubella Immunization in a function held in Islamic Junior High School 10 in Sleman, here on Tuesday.

The function was also attended by First Lady Iriana, Coordinating Minister for Culture and Human Development Puan Maharani, Minister/State Secretary Pratikno, Health Minister Nila Moeloek, Special Presidential Staff Staff Johan Budi SP, Yogyakarta Governor Sultan Hamengkubowono X, and Sleman District Head Sri Purnomo.

According to him, immunization is crucial for childrens health as it could prevent deadly diseases.

“That is the responsibility of parents and also the state,” he noted.

In Indonesia, less than one percent of children have received measles and rubella immunization, while ideally it should be more than 95 percent, he noted.

The government has a strong commitment to eliminate measles and control rubella and to make the country free of measles and rubella by 2020, he remarked.

As a strategy, the government will provide immunization to children between nine months old and 15 years old.

Under the Global Vaccine Action Plan, measles and rubella are targeted for elimination in five WHO Regions by 2020.

WHO is the lead technical agency responsible for coordination of immunization and surveillance activities supporting all countries to achieve this goal.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It remains an important cause of death among young children globally, despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine.

Measles is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth, or throat of infected persons. Initial symptoms, which usually appear 10 to 12 days after infection, include high fever, a runny nose, bloodshot eyes, and tiny white spots on the inside of the mouth.

Source: Antara news