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
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.