Volume 36, Supplement 1 Pages A1–A42 (11 January 2018)
Midterm Review of the Global Measles and Rubella Strategic Plan, 2012-2020
Measles and Rubella Global Strategic Plan 2012–2020 midterm review
Open access – Pages A1-A34
W.A. Orenstein, A. Hinman, B. Nkowane, J.M. Olive, A. Reingold
Measles, a vaccine-preventable illness, is one of the most infectious diseases known to man. In 2015, an estimated 134,200 measles deaths occurred globally. Rubella, also vaccine-preventable, is a concern because infection during pregnancy can result in congenital defects in the baby. More than 100,000 babies with congenital rubella syndrome were estimated to have been born globally in 2010. Eradication of both measles and rubella is considered to be feasible, beneficial, and more cost-effective than high-level control. All six World Health Organization (WHO) regions have measles elimination goals by 2020 and two have rubella elimination goals by that year. However, the World Health Assembly has not endorsed a global eradication goal for either disease. In 2012, the Measles and Rubella Initiative published a Global Measles and Rubella Strategic Plan, 2012–2020, referred to hereafter as the Plan, which aimed to achieve measles and rubella elimination in at least five WHO regions by end-2020 through the implementation of five core strategies, with progress evaluated against 2015 milestones. When, by end-2015, none of these milestones had been met, WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) recommended a mid-term review of the Plan to evaluate progress toward goals, assess the quality of strategy implementation, and formulate lessons learned. A five-member team reviewed documents and conducted interviews with stakeholders as the basis for the review’s conclusions and recommendations. This team concluded that, although significant progress in measles elimination had been made, progress had slowed. It recommended that countries continue to work toward elimination goals with a focus on strengthening ongoing immunization systems. In addition, it concluded that the strategies articulated in the Plan were sound, however full implementation had been impeded by inadequate country ownership and global political will, reflected in inadequate resources. Detailed recommendations for each of the Plan’s five strategies as well as the areas of polio transition, governance and resource mobilization are outlined.