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Table of Contents
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 146-147

Necessity for sustained efforts to eliminate measles worldwide: An appeal for global leaders


1 Vice-Principal Curriculum, Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpattu District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpattu District, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication18-Oct-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpattu District - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/AJIM.AJIM_38_19

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Necessity for sustained efforts to eliminate measles worldwide: An appeal for global leaders. APIK J Int Med 2019;7:146-7

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Necessity for sustained efforts to eliminate measles worldwide: An appeal for global leaders. APIK J Int Med [serial online] 2019 [cited 2019 Dec 6];7:146-7. Available from: http://www.ajim.in/text.asp?2019/7/4/146/269565



Dear Editor,

Measles continues to remain a major public health concern owing to its high incidence, its association with malnutrition, and high rates of disease-attributed mortality rates.[1] In fact, in 2017, 0.11 million individuals died from the disease, most of whom were from 0–5 years of age group.[1] However, the most shocking aspect is that these deaths are still occurring despite the availability of an extremely effective and low-cost vaccine for decades together.[1],[2] The use of vaccine has resulted in a decline in disease-related deaths by almost four-fifths between 2000 and 2017 across the world, and that is a clear indicator of the potency of the vaccine.[1],[2] In the same time span, more than 20 million disease-linked deaths have been prevented, predominantly because of the vaccine.[1]

Further, the available estimates depict that last year, close to 85% of the infants received one dose of the vaccine, but then at the same time, we have to focus toward the remaining 15% children who failed to get immunized.[1] The observed gains are predominant because of the sustained and dedicated efforts of the policymakers, international agencies, and health professionals.[3] Moreover, owing to the availability of an effective vaccine, the international leaders have set the global target to accomplish the elimination (viz., complete interruption of the transmission of the endemic virus in a specified region for 1 year, with surveillance activities being totally comprehensive) of the disease from all the regions specified by the World Health Organization (WHO) by 2020.[2],[3] This is a big challenge for all the involved stakeholders and requires continuous efforts from them.[2],[3]

It is quite obvious that in the absence of sustained efforts and focused actions, all the gains achieved so far will be easily lost.[3] This has been reflected by the very fact that in heterogeneous settings with poor vaccine coverage, various outbreaks of disease have been reported, including a large number of deaths.[1] Further, the experts have even expressed their concerns that the target of elimination of disease from different regions is under threat big time, and the disease has reemerged in those nations, which have already achieved the elimination status or were very much close to accomplishing the same.[1],[3] There is an indispensable need to strengthen and expand the laboratory services to not only timely detect the disease but also ensure that the global spread of the virus can be effectively tracked, and thus, the disease is effectively controlled.[1]

To expand the reach of the services and increase the number of beneficiaries, the WHO has launched the Measles and Rubella Initiative, which mainly emphasizes on the need that not even a single child should die of measles or is born with congenital rubella syndrome.[1],[4] To move forward and minimize the number of cases as well as deaths, there is a big-time need to have sustained financial support and involvement of the community through augmentation of the awareness activities about the life-threatening nature of the disease and the very fact that a vaccine is available to counter the same.[2],[3],[4]

In conclusion, in the global mission to attain the set targets, we have to bridge the gaps in vaccination coverage, and it will surely require the political support to continue further with the gains achieved so far.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Measles - Fact Sheet. World Health Organization; 2018. Available from: https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/measles. [Last accessed on 2019 Aug 17].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Enormous need to improve the global measles vaccination coverage: World Health Organization. MAMC J Med Sci 2016;2:109-10.  Back to cited text no. 2
  [Full text]  
3.
Dabbagh A, Patel MK, Dumolard L, Gacic-Dobo M, Strebel PM, Mulders MN, et al. Progress towards regional measles elimination – worldwide, 2000–2016. Wkly Epidemiol Rec 2017;92:649-59.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J 2017 Measles-Rubella vaccination campaign in India. Int J Prev Med 2018;9:31.  Back to cited text no. 4
    




 

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