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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 91

Bhutan and Maldives eliminate measles: World Health Organization

Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission26-Jun-2017
Date of Acceptance19-Sep-2017
Date of Web Publication07-Nov-2017

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
3rd Floor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram - 603108, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijpvm.IJPVM_276_17

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Bhutan and Maldives eliminate measles: World Health Organization. Int J Prev Med 2017;8:91

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Bhutan and Maldives eliminate measles: World Health Organization. Int J Prev Med [serial online] 2017 [cited 2021 Dec 3];8:91. Available from: https://www.ijpvmjournal.net/text.asp?2017/8/1/91/217829

Dear Editor,

Under the global mission to leave no one behind and attain universal health coverage, the policy makers and other stakeholders from the South-East Asia Region have focused their attention toward attaining elimination of measles and control of rubella by the year 2020.[1],[2],[3] To achieve that a four-pronged strategy has been adopted comprising of accomplishing and sustaining a minimum of 95% coverage with couple of doses of measles-rubella vaccine, establishing an effective case-based surveillance to attain the set performance indicators, developing an accredited network of laboratories for diagnosing both the infections, and strengthening supportive services to ensure the success of the above-proposed interventions.[1],[3]

It is a matter of great pride that Bhutan and Maldives have successfully eliminated measles, much prior to the proposed regional target of 2020.[1] The expanded immunization program was initiated in both the nations before 1980s and since then constant efforts have been taken to improve the reach of immunization services.[1],[3] Maldives and Bhutan have not reported any indigenous case of measles for the last 8 years and 5 years, respectively, and it is predominantly due to the strong political commitment, well supported by the concerted efforts of health workers and stakeholders at all levels.[1],[3]

In addition, the nations have established strong laboratory networks for surveillance, and extensive case investigation and tracking activities have been performed for each and every case, regardless of the geographical constraints.[1],[3] Furthermore, to sustain their gains, both nations have been organizing mass vaccination campaigns to cover vulnerable population groups.[3] Moreover, all nations in the region have incorporated two doses of measles in their immunization schedule, and it is supplemented with surveillance activities for both the infections.[1],[2] In fact, in the year 2016 alone, due to the intensive immunization activities, close to 0.62 million measles-attributed deaths have been averted in the entire region.[1]

However, the available estimates from the region clearly indicate that >4.5 million children are devoid of immunization against measles each year, which in itself is a great risk for reemergence of the disease in Bhutan and Maldives for starting a new chain of transmission.[1],[3] Thus, both the nations should continue the good work against measles and rubella and take appropriate measures to respond timely with any importations.[1],[2]

To conclude, elimination of measles from Bhutan and Maldives is a major public health accomplishment, but then it is just the start of better public health outcome, and a lot needs to be done to accomplish the elimination of measles and control of rubella in the entire region.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

World Health Organization. Bhutan, Maldives Eliminate Measles; 2017. Available From: http://www.searo.who.int/mediacentre/releases/2017/1651/en/. [Last accessed on 2017 Jun 25].  Back to cited text no. 1
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Enormous need to improve the global measles vaccination coverage: World Health Organization. MAMC J Med Sci 2016;2:109-10.  Back to cited text no. 2
  [Full text]  
Giri BR, Namgyal P, Tshering K, Sharma K, Dorji T, Tamang C, et al. Mass measles rubella immunization campaign: Bhutan experience. Indian J Community Med 2011;36:109-13.  Back to cited text no. 3
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