• Indian Armed Forces will start a vaccination programme among their new recruits to prevent spread of two diseases, including one affecting the brain. 
  • Immunisation shots against meningococal meningitis and chicken pox will be administered to the recruits as a preventive measure, Lieutenant General Mandeep Singh, Director General Hospital Services of the Armed Forces said. 
  • "Meningococal Meningistis can be fatal as this disease affects the brain. Military recruits are known to be a high risk population for this disease as it is known to occur more commonly among crowded living conditions. 
  • "These immunisation shots will prevent the outbreak of this disease...Though till date we had no major outbreaks, but caution is being taken as the disease strikes a large number of people at a time," Singh said. 
  • Nearly one lakh recruits are inducted into the Indian armed forces every year. 
  • Lt Gen Singh also said vaccinations will be also introduced for chicken pox because this disease too has serious complications. 
  • "It is not a part of the immunisation schedule for children till date. Recruits come from all parts of the country and if any individual case is reported then the recruit and all his contacts has to be isolated. It not only weakens the immune system but also adversely affects the training," he said.