Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences

Document Type: Brief Report(s)


1 Department of Community Medicine, Midnapore Medical College, Kolkata, India

2 Department of Community Medicine, Medical College, Kolkata, India

3 Department of Community Medicine, Kalyani Medical College, Kolkata, India

4 Department of Community Medicine, West Bengal State Immunization Support Cell, Medical College, Kolkata, India


Disaster-affected populations are highly vulnerable to outbreaks of measles. Therefore, a mass vaccination against measles was conducted in Aila cyclone-affected blocks of West Bengal, India in July 2009. The objectives of the present report were to conduct an in depth analysis of the campaign, and to discuss the major challenges. A block level micro-plan, which included mapping of the villages, health facilities, temporary settlements of disaster-affected population, communications available, formation of vaccination team, information education communication, vaccine storage, waste disposal, surveillance for adverse events following immunization, supervision and monitoring was developed. The rate of six months to five years old children, who were vaccinated by measles vaccine, was 70.7% and that of those who received one dose of vitamin A was 71.3%. Wastage factor for vaccine doses and auto-disable syringes were 1.09 and 1.07, respectively. Only 13 cases of adverse events following immunization were reported. An average of 0.91 puncture-proof containers per vaccination session was used. Despite the major challenges faced due to difficult to reach areas, inadequate infrastructure, manpower and communication, problems of vaccine storage and transport, the campaign achieved a remarkable success regarding measles vaccine coverage, improvements of cold chain infrastructure, formulating an efficient surveillance and reporting system for adverse events following immunization, building self-confidence of the stakeholders, and developing a biomedical waste disposal system.