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J Immunol Sci. 2018 Jul 28;Suppl:140-144.

Status of Measles Elimination in Eleven Countries with High Routine Immunisation Coverage in The WHO African Region.

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WHO Regional Office for Africa, Brazzaville, Congo.
WHO Inter-country Support Team for Central Africa, Libreville, Gabon.
WHO Inter-country Support Team for East and Southern Africa, Harare, Zimbabwe.
WHO Inter-country Support Team for Western Africa, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.



Measles elimination is defined as the absence of endemic measles virus transmission in a defined geographic area for at least 12 months in the presence of a well-performing surveillance system. The WHO framework for verification of measles elimination indicates that the achievement of measles and/or rubella elimination should be verified for individual countries.


We identified 11 high performing countries based on their first dose measles vaccination coverage, and looked at their performance across the various programmatic parameters, to see if they are ready to undertake the verification of measles elimination.


We identified 11 countries with >90% measles first dose coverage for the most recent 5 years according to the WHO UNICEF estimates of national immunisation coverage. We analysed vaccination coverage and surveillance performance in these countries.


Algeria, Botswana, Gambia, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles have maintained measles first dose (MCV1) coverage of 95% or more since 2011. In 2015, only Algeria, Cape Verde and Seychelles had coverage of 95% or more for the second dose of measles vaccine (MCV2). Of the 22 supplemental immunisation activities (SIAs) among the 11 countries, only 6 had administrative coverage of less than 95%. Only Rwanda and Lesotho attained the case-based surveillance performance targets in all the five years.


Despite their high routine first dose measles immunisation coverage, all of the 11 countries have some program gaps indicating that they do not meet all the criteria to undergo verification of elimination at this point. It is recommended for these countries to set up national verification committees as per the WHO framework for verification of measles elimination, in order to initiate the documentation and monitoring of progress, and to address programmatic gaps in the coming years.


Coverage; Immunization; Measles Elimination; Status; WHO African Region


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