April 24, 2012
Photo: Measles and Rubella Initiative/C
Laos conducted its first measles-rubella campaign in November 2011. A combined measles-rubella vaccine costs about $1.50. Adding rubella to vaccination programs will help to stop the rubella virus, which can cause devastating birth defects to newborns including blindness, deafness and heart conditions.
A coalition of global health agencies has announced the start of a new vaccination campaign to eradicate deaths from measles and rubella worldwide.
The launch comes during World Immunization week (April 21-28), which is a U.N.-coordinated effort to focus international attention on the importance of vaccination against deadly diseases.
Measles, one of the most infectious diseases on the planet, is a leading cause of death and disability among children worldwide, especially in the developing world, even though a safe and cost-effective vaccine is available. The announcement of the new vaccination drive comes with fresh data on measles mortality rates from the World Health Organization.
The WHO is a partner in the new initiative, led also by the American Red Cross, the United Nations Foundation, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the United Nations Children's Fund, or UNICEF.
Anthony Lake, executive director of UNICEF, says worldwide immunization campaigns have brought the number of measles deaths from 2.5 million in 1980 to just 139,000 today - and produced a 74 percent drop in mortality since 2000. Lake says the vaccines reach about 95 percent of all children, even in remote and impoverished areas.
Measles and Rubella Initiative/C
Vaccinations in Nigeria. Countries in sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 36 percent of global measles deaths in 2010.
"Really this is one of the most remarkable victories in the history of public health," Lake says. "But, just as that is the good news, the bad news is that measles still claims 382 lives, every day, the vast majority of them children under five. And every one of them could have been saved by two doses of a 22-cent vaccine."
Within the next three years, the new strategy aims to cut global measles infections by 95 percent from their 2000 level. A second goal is to eradicate rubella by 2020 in five regions of the world.
WHO director of immunizations Jean Marie Okwo Bele believes there is reason to be optimistic.
"We have seen the great progress made in China that has led to all of that region, [the] western Pacific region, to be close to eliminating measles in the very near future," Okwo Bele says. "We have seen India scaling up this effort and we have also seen that several outbreaks in southern Africa are being now controlled."
The new initiative encourages some 62 countries not vaccinating against rubella to do so with a combination measles-rubella shot. This would ensure that no infant is born with a rubella-related congenital disease, which can range from heart defects to deafness and blindness.
The plan also calls for high vaccination coverage, disease monitoring and surveillance, rapid response to outbreaks, disease research and development of new diagnostic tools.
David Meltzer, senior vice president of International Services at the American Red Cross, says coordinated community engagement is essential to make the plan work.
"It starts at the government, often the head of state publicizing community health days," he says. "There is use of traditional media, social media, organizing entertainment venues to bring the people out from their homes and into the community and in many countries it is utilizing community-based organizations, in particular the Red Cross and the Red Crescent or often the neighbors of the mothers. And they go door to door encouraging the mothers to bring their children out to the vaccination posts."
But funding is down, says Kathy Calvin, CEO of the United Nations Foundation, another partner in the inoculation initiative. She says an additional $112 million is needed to achieve the global measles and rubella goal by 2015.
"We need everyone, from world leaders to individuals to step up their commitment to stop measles and rubella, if we are going to meet our goal."
Calvin adds that a small donation from people worldwide can go a long way and help save many lives.
- Making Promises 做出承诺 阅读:13 2017-08-16
- 实用英语单词：“Five”不止是5这么简单 阅读:24 2016-02-19
- Wine in, truth out 阅读:36 2017-05-26
- 外国人最爱表情包TOP10 你猜哪个排第一 阅读:168 2016-02-24
- 励志美句：别为难自己 阅读:39 2016-10-09
- 【双语有声阅读】Columbus Day 哥伦布发现美洲纪念日 –A Holiday to Remember an Explorer 阅读:91 2016-11-15
- Go bananas:焦急烦躁而情绪失控 阅读:25 2016-02-29
- Talk Radio 电台访谈 阅读:7 2016-12-21
1.beast 兽，喻指凶狠的人Just look at the way he treats his wife! He is a beast.且看他对妻子...
We live in a world where criticizing people and focusing on negative attribu...
兔子不吃窝边草英语怎么说The fox preys farthest from home. 兔子不吃窝边草． The fox preys farthest from home.
1. Embarrassment 尴尬 2. Fluorescent 荧光 3. Accommodate 调节 4. Psychiatrist 精...
1. Let her pay—she's loaded. 让她掏钱，她有的是钱。 Loaded是个美国俚语，表示“有钱”，但是只用做表语，不...
人有时候真的是一个矛盾体。电影里的恐怖场景那么吓人，甚至吓得惊声尖叫，但还是忍不住想看；十恶不赦的罪犯庭审，犯罪手段恶劣到令人发指，真想关了电视不看了，可就是做不到。可能这就是这一类节目的魅力所在吧，they exist to irr...