News

    Global Plan to Control Measles Launched

    Initiative aims to eliminate deaths from measles, rubella

    Laos conducted its first measles-rubella campaign in November 2011. A combined measles-rubella vaccine costs about $1.50. Adding rubella to vaccination programs will help to stop the rubella virus, which can cause devastating birth defects to newborns inc
    Laos conducted its first measles-rubella campaign in November 2011. A combined measles-rubella vaccine costs about $1.50. Adding rubella to vaccination programs will help to stop the rubella virus, which can cause devastating birth defects to newborns inc

    Multimedia

    Audio
    Rosanne Skirble

    A coalition of global health agencies has announced the start of a new vaccination campaign to eradicate deaths from measles and rubella worldwide.

    The launch comes during World Immunization week (April 21-28), which is a U.N.-coordinated effort to focus international attention on the importance of vaccination against deadly diseases.  

    Measles, one of the most infectious diseases on the planet, is a leading cause of death and disability among children worldwide, especially in the developing world, even though a safe and cost-effective vaccine is available. The announcement of the new vaccination drive comes with fresh data on measles mortality rates from the World Health Organization.

    The WHO is a partner in the new initiative, led also by the American Red Cross, the United Nations Foundation, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the United Nations Children’s Fund, or UNICEF.

    Anthony Lake, executive director of UNICEF, says worldwide immunization campaigns have brought the number of measles deaths from 2.5 million in 1980 to just 139,000 today - and produced a 74 percent drop in mortality since 2000. Lake says the vaccines reach about 95 percent of all children, even in remote and impoverished areas.

    Vaccinations in Nigeria. Countries in sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 36 percent of global measles deaths in 2010.
    Vaccinations in Nigeria. Countries in sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 36 percent of global measles deaths in 2010.

    "Really this is one of the most remarkable victories in the history of public health," Lake says. "But, just as that is the good news, the bad news is that measles still claims 382 lives, every day, the vast majority of them children under five.  And every one of them could have been saved by two doses of a 22-cent vaccine.”

    Within the next three years, the new strategy aims to cut global measles infections by 95 percent from their 2000 level. A second goal is to eradicate rubella by 2020 in five regions of the world.

    WHO director of immunizations Jean Marie Okwo Bele believes there is reason to be optimistic.

    "We have seen the great progress made in China that has led to all of that region, [the] western Pacific region, to be close to eliminating measles in the very near future," Okwo Bele says. "We have seen India scaling up this effort and we have also seen that several outbreaks in southern Africa are being now controlled.”

    The new initiative encourages some 62 countries not vaccinating against rubella to do so with a combination measles-rubella shot. This would ensure that no infant is born with a rubella-related congenital disease, which can range from heart defects to deafness and blindness.   

    The plan also calls for high vaccination coverage, disease monitoring and surveillance, rapid response to outbreaks, disease research and development of new diagnostic tools.

    David Meltzer, senior vice president of International Services at the American Red Cross, says coordinated community engagement is essential to make the plan work.   

    “It starts at the government, often the head of state publicizing community health days," he says. "There is use of traditional media, social media, organizing entertainment venues to bring the people out from their homes and into the community and in many countries it is utilizing community-based organizations, in particular the Red Cross and the Red Crescent or often the neighbors of the mothers. And they go door to door encouraging the mothers to bring their children out to the vaccination posts.”

    But funding is down, says Kathy Calvin, CEO of the United Nations Foundation, another partner in the inoculation initiative. She says an additional $112 million is needed to achieve the global measles and rubella goal by 2015.  

    “We need everyone, from world leaders to individuals to step up their commitment to stop measles and rubella, if we are going to meet our goal.”

    Calvin adds that a small donation from people worldwide can go a long way and help save many lives.   

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: End time servant
    April 25, 2012 3:57 AM
    You people and many others are being used and abused by these evil vaccines history has already proved it god help you people and your children

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora