The U.S.-based Measles Initiative has announced that the number of deaths from measles across the globe fell drastically by 78 percent in 2008 when compared to the death rates in 2000. The report said 164,000 died from measles in 2008 compared to 733,000 in 2000.
The report added that this decrease was largely down to the large number of vaccination efforts the world over. However the Measles Initiative said the deaths could resurge in the coming years as it faces a gap of $59 million in funding. "The combined effect of decreased political and financial commitment could result in an estimated 1.7 million measles-related deaths between 2010-13," it said.
three of the four children to die from measles in 2008 were from India. The Indian government has promised to scale up the vaccination effort in the country.
Thomas Frieden, director of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that measles could make a rapid comeback if the vaccination efforts slackened. "We saw this in the United States between 1989 and 1991, when an estimated 55 000 measles cases and more than 130 deaths occurred," he said.