News: Member Countries of WHO South-East Asia Region (SEAR) has resolved to eliminate measles and rubella by 2023. Earlier the target set was 2020.
- WHO SEAR member countries have adopted a “Strategic Plan for Measles and Rubella Elimination 2020-2024” at the 72nd session of the WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia in Delhi. It lays down the road map and focus areas to achieve the elimination targets in the region.
Measles and Rubella
- Measles and Rubella (German measles) are contagious viral disease that is spread by contact with an infected person through coughing and sneezing. Measles is caused by Rubeola virus and Rubella is caused by Rubella virus.
- Measles can cause serious complications, including blindness, encephalitis, severe diarrhoea, ear infection and pneumonia
- Measles and Rubella have similar symptoms. However, rubella is a milder viral infection than measles. Rubella infection in pregnant women may cause foetal death or congenital defects known as congenital rubella syndrome
- Both of them can be entirely prevent with a two-dose of MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) vaccine.
Status of Measles and Rubella in India
- 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
- 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.
- It is also covered under Mission Indradhanaush. Launched in 2014, the mission aims to cover all those children by 2020 who are either unvaccinated, or are partially vaccinated against vaccine preventable diseases
- Global Vaccine Action Plan: Under the Global Vaccine Action Plan, WHO has targeted to eliminate measles by 2020
- ‘Measles Elimination and Rubella/CRS Control by 2020’: In 2013, WHO SEAR initiated ‘Measles Elimination and Rubella/CRS Control by 2020’ which sought to curb and control measles and rubella through immunization, surveillance and developing and maintaining an accredited measles laboratory network.
- It has 11 member countries- Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan, DPR Korea, Myanmar, Maldives and Timor-Leste.