SEA/RC66/9 - Measles elimination and rubella control
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AbstractMeasles remains a significant cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, with the South-East Asia Region accounting for about half of the estimated 158 000 global measles deaths in 2011. Measles and rubella can be eliminated, as shown by the WHO Region of the Americas. All other regions, except South-East Asia, have a measles elimination target and some regions have rubella elimination or control targets. Through a regional consultative process, Member States in the South-East Asia Region have agreed that measles elimination and rubella/congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) control are technically, biologically and programmatically feasible by 2020. Measles and rubella elimination are defined as the absence of indigenous virus transmission in a geographical area (WHO Region/Member State) for at least 12 months in the presence of a well performing surveillance system. The routine measles immunization coverage or measles-containing vaccine (MCV1) coverage of 79% in 2012, immunization provided through large supplementary campaigns, and improvement in surveillance backed by an accredited laboratory network have resulted in a 63% decline in the measles incidence rate and a 70% decline in measles deaths, India excluded. Seven Member States (and four union territories of India) offer rubella vaccine through routine immunization in combination with measles and/or mumps vaccine. In 2012, Member States launched intensification of routine immunization in a drive to increase routine immunization coverage. Routine immunization is the foundation for achieving and sustaining measles elimination and rubella/CRS control. The stage is therefore set for the South-East Asia Region to adopt a measles elimination and rubella/CRS control target of 2020. The challenges that must be overcome are significant but well known, and are in various stages of being addressed. Political commitment and adequate financing, national and external, will lead to successful achievement of the target by 2020. The High-Level Preparatory (HLP) Meeting held in the Regional Office in New Delhi, India, from 1 to 3 July 2013 reviewed the attached working paper and made the following recommendations: Actions by Member States (1) To prepare national plans of action for measles elimination and rubella/CRS control by 2020 integrated into national immunization plans which should ensure that all children, including migrant children, the underserved, marginalized and unreached are included. (2) To strengthen the vaccine hub in the Region with WHO technical support for production of measles vaccines to ensure regional self-sufficiency. Actions by WHO-SEARO (1) To develop, in consultation with Member States, a draft resolution on measles elimination and rubella/CRS control by 2020 for the consideration of the Sixty-sixth Session of the Regional Committee. (2) To conduct a regional workshop in September 2013 to agree on targets and surveillance standards for measles elimination and rubella/CRS control. (3) To provide technical support to Member States in the planning for achieving measles elimination and rubella/CRS control, including support for vaccine development and human resources training. The working paper and the HLP Meeting recommendations are submitted to the Sixty-sixth Session of the Regional Committee for its consideration.
World Health Organization, Regional Office for South-East Asia. (2013). SEA/RC66/9 - Measles elimination and rubella control. WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/128280
Gov't Doc #SEA/RC66/9