News / Health

    WHO Aims To Eradicate Measles Worldwide

    Dr. Pierre François Unger, State Councillor of the Canton of Geneva, addresses delegates at the opening of the Sixty-third World Health Assembly, 17 May 2010
    Dr. Pierre François Unger, State Councillor of the Canton of Geneva, addresses delegates at the opening of the Sixty-third World Health Assembly, 17 May 2010

    Multimedia

    Audio
    Lisa Schlein

    The 193-member World Health Assembly has agreed to work for the global eradication of measles. The assembly, which wraps up its annual meeting Friday, says these goals are achievable, but, agrees a long and determined commitment by states is needed to be successful.

    The World Health Organization says much progress has been made in cutting deaths from measles. But, it says wiping this deadly disease from the face of the earth poses a formidable challenge.

    Given the difficulties ahead, the World Health Assembly approved a resolution to eradicate measles worldwide, but set no target date for achieving this goal.

    Instead, medical officer in WHO's Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals, Peter Strebel, says the assembly endorsed a series of interim targets as milestones toward this end.

    "These targets are set for 2015 and are to achieve at least 90 percent measles vaccination coverage nationally and 80 percent coverage in every district, reduce measles cases to less than five per million population, reduce measles mortality by 95 percent compared to 2000 levels," Strebel said.

    U.N. health agencies have made huge strides in reducing the number of children dying from measles. Measles deaths among children under five years of age have fallen by 89 percent from more than one million to 118,000 in 2008. The biggest successes have been made in Africa.

    Unfortunately, starting in 2008, WHO says progress has stagnated because of a big decline in funding and lessening of political commitment for measles control.

    Indeed, Dr. Strebel says measles, one of the most contagious diseases, is making a rapid comeback. Over the past year, he says there have been large measles outbreaks in 37 countries, 30 of them in Africa.

    Over the past 12 months, he says more than 64,000 measles cases have been reported and more than 1,100 measles deaths in the African region alone.

    "The countries that have experienced the most deaths include Zimbabwe, Chad and Nigeria," Strebel adds. "More alarmingly, WHO estimates if the combined effect of decreased financial and political commitment were to be sustained or continued, this could result to a return of a half a million measles deaths each year by 2012, wiping out the gains made over the past 18 years."  

    Dr. Strebel says the Millennium Development Goal aimed at reducing child mortality by two-thirds by 2015 will be missed if measles outbreaks continue to spread. He says it costs less than $1.00 to vaccinate a child against measles. It costs less than $1.00 to save a child's life.

    You May Like

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora