Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Measles Deaths Worldwide Drop By Nearly 40% Over Five Years

Date:
March 8, 2005
Source:
World Health Organization
Summary:
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) today announced that countries are on target to halve deaths from measles, a leading vaccine-preventable killer, by the end of this year. Global measles deaths have plummeted by 39%, from 873,000 in 1999 to an estimated 530,000 in 2003.

GENEVA/NEW YORK (March 4, 2005) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) today announced that countries are on target to halve deaths from measles, a leading vaccine-preventable killer, by the end of this year. Global measles deaths have plummeted by 39%, from 873 000 in 1999 to an estimated 530 000 in 2003.

The largest reduction occurred in Africa, the region with the highest burden of the disease, where estimated measles deaths decreased by 46%.

"Progress of this magnitude is remarkable. I congratulate countries for their successful efforts in protecting children from measles," said Dr LEE Jong-wook, WHO Director-General. "I am certain that with increased commitment from governments and further support from the international community, even more can be accomplished."

Measles is an important cause of childhood deaths. Only a decade ago, measles killed millions of children each year and affected 30 million more, leaving many with life-long disabilities like blindness and brain damage.

"In many places where families once lived in fear of losing their children to measles, they're now protected by an effective and inexpensive vaccine," said Carol Bellamy, Executive Director of UNICEF. "What clearer proof could there be of the value of investing in immunization?"

The dramatic decline in measles deaths is made possible through the commitment of governments to fully implement the WHO/UNICEF strategy for sustainable measles mortality reduction.

The strategy seeks to achieve routine measles immunization coverage of at least 90% in every district and to ensure that every child from nine months to 14 years of age receives a "second opportunity" for measles immunization through routine services or supplementary immunization activities (SIAs) every three to four years. The SIAs have proven especially effective. From 1999 to 2003, more than 350 million children throughout the world were vaccinated against measles through SIAs.

As measles wards shut down all over the African continent, a long-term budget item in many hospitals can be freed up to save children from other diseases.

“We now have the opportunity to replicate this successful model as we tackle other child killers such as malaria,” Bellamy said, noting that in late 2004, Togo’s children received four life-saving interventions at once. The landmark campaign reached over 95% of the children under-five with vaccines to prevent measles and polio, mosquito nets to prevent malaria and de-worming tablets.

Millions of children still remain at risk from measles. Malnourished and un-immunized children under five years of age, especially infants, are at high risk of contracting measles and are more vulnerable to death. The vast majority of measles deaths are found in low-income countries. Each year more than 130 million children are born and "we must reach each and every one with measles vaccination," said Dr LEE.

The strong support of the Measles Initiative has been an important factor in the marked reduction of measles deaths in Africa. Launched in 2001, this successful partnership's core founding members are WHO, UNICEF, the American Red Cross, the United Nations Foundation and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.. Since 2001, the Initiative has mobilized more than US $144 million and has helped African countries vaccinate over 150 million children against measles.

Other key partners include the governments of Australia, Canada, Japan and the United Kingdom as well as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by World Health Organization. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

World Health Organization. "Measles Deaths Worldwide Drop By Nearly 40% Over Five Years." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 March 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050307214744.htm>.
World Health Organization. (2005, March 8). Measles Deaths Worldwide Drop By Nearly 40% Over Five Years. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050307214744.htm
World Health Organization. "Measles Deaths Worldwide Drop By Nearly 40% Over Five Years." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050307214744.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins