Measles Vaccination: 17.1m Lives Have Been Saved Since 2000 – WHO

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The World Health Organisation has called for sustained measles vaccination because recent statistics have shown that a total of 17.1 million deaths have been avoided since 2000.

The data showed that the number of measles-related deaths had decreased by 79 per cent from 546, 800 at the beginning of the century to 114,900 in 2014.

Dr Jean-Marie Okwo-Bele, the Director of WHO’s Department of Immunisation, Vaccines and Biologicals said “we cannot afford to drop our guard.

“If children miss routine vaccination and are not reached by national immunisation campaigns, we will not close the immunisation gap.

“Based on current trends of measles vaccination coverage and incidence, the 2015 global milestones and measles elimination goals set by WHO member states will not be achieved on time.’’

Dr Seth Berkley, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance also added “a coordinated approach that puts stronger routine immunisation at its core will be central to getting measles under control.

“It will also secure further reductions in mortality from this vaccine-preventable disease.’’

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