February 13: Ncell has pledged to support the government for the National Measles Rubella (MR) Campaign 2020 in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) and UNICEF. Under this campaign, the government aims to immunize over 3 million children across the country between the age of 9 months to 5 years, Ncell said in a statement.
According to the company, the Family Welfare Division under the Department of Health Services is implementing the MR mass immunisation campaign in two phases. The first phase started on February 13 in Province 1, 2 and 5 and will remain in place until March 13. Likewise, the second phase of the campaign will start from March 14 in Bagmati, Gandaki, Karnali and Sudur Paschim provinces and will remain in force till April 12.
“We are glad that Ncell has supported the government for this campaign targeted to immunise over 3 million children to achieve 100 percent success. We are grateful for the support and expect similar support in future as well,” the statement quoted Dr Jhalak Sharma Gautam, chief of the Child Health and Immunisation Service Section at the Family Welfare Division, as saying.
Andy Chong, CEO of Ncell said, “Ncell is privileged to collaborate with the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) on National Measles Rubella (MR) Campaign to spread the message on importance of immunization, which is a national health priority. Healthcare is a vital aspect of our Corporate Social Responsibility activities. Ncell has a greater responsibility as a corporate leader and we are honoured to be given this opportunity to be driving such an initiative.”
According to Ncell, government’s statistics indicates that cases of MR outbreak are increasing at an alarming rate post 2015. Statistics prepared by Nepal Demographic Health Survey state that percentage of children aged 12- 23 months old, who received all basic vaccines fell from 87 percent in 2011 to 78 percent in 2016.
This collaboration of Ncell with the government for this noble cause will contribute towards supporting the government to reduce the number of death and disability in children and meet the World Health Organization (WHO) goal of eliminating MR by 2023. Instances have shown that Measles can cause severe complications including blindness, encephalitis, severe diarrhoea, ear infection and pneumonia while Rubella causes irreversible birth defects.
Ncell said it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the MoHP and National Health Education and Communication Centre (NHEICC) in 2019 as a part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for supporting the government to raise health awareness across the country. Previously, in October 2019, Ncell had supported the government in broadcasting Dengue awareness messaging across the country via multiple channels of communication.