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.
    Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroadi
    X
    May 02, 2016 1:36 PM
    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora