World Health Organization and UNICEF conducted an international campaign to reduce the number of deaths occurring due to measles. The results have proved to be very fruitful and they have established a 50% reduction. The global immunization drive was responsible for half a billion children receive vaccinations across the globe.
The death toll, which stood at 871 000 a year in 1999, was down to an estimated 454 000 by the end of 2004. Sub-Saharan Africa, the region with the highest burden of the disease showed a sharp reduction in the number of deaths related to measles. Statistics show that in this area it had dropped by 60%.
Dr Lee Jong-wook, the head of the WHO was very happy to announce the results and the success of the campaign. But in South Asia it was very difficult top prevent the disease from spreading. But they said that they would not stop until they found a similar success rate in that region also.
Hence they are planning to increase measles immunisation coverage in that region to at least 90 %. The measles virus is one of the most contagious diseases and if combined with malnourishment and left untreated will be very fatal.
It can also result in various deadly complications such as pneumonia, diarrhoea, encephalitis, blindness and brain damage. But this killer disease among the children can be prevented by just two doses of an inexpensive, safe, and available measles vaccine.