Fri 11 Nov, 2023

Measles: The Inside Story – new documentary from National Prison Radio

Cases of Measles are rising. National Prison Radio is broadcasting crucial information in partnership with the UK Health Security Agency to help protect people in prison.

One in five cases of measles requires a hospital visit. What could this mean in a prison setting? And how can we protect people in prison from this rising disease?

The UK lost its eradication status for measles in 2018.

National Prison Radio has produced a special documentary about measles, speaking to the experts and also sharing the stories of those who have been affected by it.

We look at how one of the worlds most contagious diseases could easily overwhelm a prison environment and we share the ways prisoners can protect themselves.

The vaccination for Measles was introduced in the 1960s and has helped prevent more than 20 million cases.

The more modern MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine has been in use since the 1980s and is completely tested and safe.

The 95% MMR vaccination uptake, the target set by the WHO, is enough to create herd immunity – however, vaccination rates are falling.

MMR vaccine coverage in England reached 93% in 2013/14 – by 2021/22, coverage had fallen to 89%. 

This leaves people susceptible to not only a rash but in some cases meningitis and sepsis, increasing the risk of fatality.

What does this mean for those inside prison?

Rising cases of Measles has resulted in confirmed cases inside prisons.

Prisons have large populations of people living in close proximity who transfer in and out of the community and to other prisons frequently – making spreading the infection easier.

Prisoners are more likely to be vulnerable, have complex medical needs, and may also be under-vaccinated. This makes outbreaks of Measles and other infectious diseases particularly challenging to deal with.

With these risk factors in mind, NPR is aiming to increase awareness of contracting Measles amongst our listeners.

We speak to doctors, nurses and other health professionals about the importance of being vaccinated and the myths surrounding vaccines.

By speaking to the experts and providing crucial information on the risks associated with contracting Measles, NPR hopes to alleviate the concerns prisoners may have about the MMR vaccine and encourage those who have yet to receive their vaccine to get it whilst inside.

National Prison Radio’s documentary ‘Measles: The Inside Story’ will broadcast on Tuesday 14th November.