- WHO has declared Sri Lanka measles free. Sri Lanka is the fifth country in WHO’s Southeast Asia region to eliminate measles. The other four countries are Bhutan, Maldives, DPR Korea and Timor-Leste.
- Sri Lanka’s success follows its persistent efforts to ensure maximum coverage with two doses of measles and rubella vaccines being provided in the childhood immunisation programme. The vaccination coverage is 95%
- Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that is spread by contact with an infected person through coughing and sneezing. Rubella, or German measles, is an infection caused by the rubella virus. Both can be entirely prevented with vaccine.
- According to the latest Global Measles and Rubella Update, India reported 47,056 measles cases and 1,263 rubella cases during May 2018 and April 2019
- Under the Global Vaccine Action Plan, WHO has targeted to eliminate measles and rubella by 2020. Rubella control is achieved when a country reduces the number of rubella cases by 95% as compared to cases in 2008.
- India has initiated the world’s largest Measles-Rubella (MR) Campaign in 2017. It targets vaccination of 410 million children and adolescents aged between 9 months and 15 years.
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