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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2008 Dec 5;57(48):1303-6.

Progress in global measles control and mortality reduction, 2000-2007.


Despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine since 1963, measles has been a major killer of children in developing countries (causing an estimated 750,000 deaths as recently as 2000), primarily because of underutilization of the vaccine. At the World Health Assembly in 2008, all World Health Organization (WHO) member states reaffirmed their commitment to achieving a 90% reduction in measles mortality by 2010 compared with 2000, a goal that was established in 2005 as part of the Global Immunization Vision and Strategy (2). This WHO-UNICEF comprehensive strategy for measles mortality reduction (1) focuses on 47 priority countries. The strategy's components include 1) achieving and maintaining high coverage (>90%) with the routinely scheduled first dose of measles-containing vaccine (MCV1) among children aged 1 year; 2) ensuring that all children receive a second opportunity for measles immunization (either through a second routine dose or through periodic supplementary immunization activities [SIAs]); 3) implementing effective laboratory-supported disease surveillance; and 4) providing appropriate clinical management for measles cases. This report updates previously published reports and describes immunization and surveillance activities implemented during 2007. Increased routine measles vaccine coverage and SIAs implemented during 2000--2007 resulted in a 74% decrease in the estimated number of measles deaths globally. An estimated 197,000 deaths from measles occurred in 2007; of these, 136,000 (69%) occurred in the WHO South-East Asian Region. Achievement of the 2010 goal will require full implementation of measles mortality reduction strategies, especially in the WHO South-East Asian Region.

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