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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2009 Dec 4;58(47):1321-6.

Global measles mortality, 2000-2008.


The United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals include a goal (MDG 4) to achieve a two thirds overall reduction of child deaths by 2015 compared with the 1990 level. Because many unvaccinated children die from measles, routine measles vaccination coverage is used as an indicator of progress toward this goal. In 2008, all UN member states reaffirmed their commitment to achieving a 90% reduction in measles mortality by 2010 compared with 2000, from an estimated 733,000 deaths in 2000 worldwide to <73,300 by 2010. The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF have identified 47 priority countries with the highest burden of measles for an accelerated strategy for measles mortality reduction. The strategy includes 1) achieving and maintaining high coverage (>or=90% nationally and >or=80% in each district) with 2 doses of measles-containing vaccine (MCV) delivered through routine services or supplemental immunization activities (SIAs) , 2) implementing effective laboratory-supported disease surveillance, and 3) providing appropriate clinical management for measles cases. This report updates a previously published report, provides details on activities implemented during 2008, assesses progress toward the 2010 goal, and evaluates the potential effects of decreased financial support. During 2000--2008, global measles mortality declined by 78%, from an estimated 733,000 deaths in 2000 to 164,000 in 2008, but the reduction in measles mortality has been leveling off since 2007. To reach the 2010 goal, India should fully implement the recommended strategies, and financial support for sustaining measles control in the other 46 priority countries should be secured.

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