Measles deaths worldwide fell by 78% between 2000 and 2008

The Measles Initiative announced that measles deaths worldwide fell by 78% between 2000 and 2008, from an estimated 733 000 in 2000 to 164 000 in 2008. However, global immunization experts warn of a resurgence in measles deaths if vaccination efforts are not sustained. All regions, with the exception of one, have achieved the United Nations goal of reducing measles mortality by 90% from 2000 to 2010, two years ahead of target. Vaccinating nearly 700 million children against measles, through large-scale immunization campaigns and increased routine immunization coverage, has prevented an estimated 4.3 million measles deaths in less than a decade. Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General, said, “So much has been achieved in the past several years thanks to the hard work and commitment of national governments and donors. But with only two years until the target date, there are signs of stalling momentum. This is a highly contagious disease that can quickly take advantage of any lapse in effort.”

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2009/measles_mdg_20091203/en/index.html

http://www.who.int/wer/2009/wer8449.pdf

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