On December 6, 2019, According to the joint report of World Health Organization(WHO) and UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), India has the 2nd highest number of children who are not vaccinated against measles with 2.3 million in 2018 (2.9 million in 2017) . Nigeria,an African country tops the list with 2.4 million unvaccinated children (4 million unvaccinated children in 2017).Key Points:
i.After Nigeria & India ,the other 4 countries with the most number of unvaccinated children are Pakistan (1.4 million), Ethiopia (1.3 million), Indonesia (1.2 million) and the Philippines (0.7 million).
ii.As per the report, Globally in 2018, there were at least 10 million cases of measles and 140,000 deaths. The major casualties from measles are children under the age of 5.
iii.Despite being preventable by two doses of vaccination(first dose is given at nine-12 months of age and the 2nd dose is given at 16-24 months of age), which is part of India’s routine immunisation programme, there were nearly 70,000 cases of measles reported in India in 2018, the third highest in the world. But in 2019 it was reduced to over 29,000 cases,which have been reported to the WHO.
iv. Failing to immunize: Globally 19.2 million children did not receive the first dose through routine immunisation services.
v.Effective strategy: Nearly 163 million children in India received have been been given the measles vaccine. The 1st dose of measles vaccine was initiated as part of the national immunisation programme in the 1990s. A second dose was initiated based on the WHO’s recommendation to prevent infection and death.India introduced the second dose from 2010.
It is a highly infectious illness caused by the rubeola virus. Its symptoms can range from rashes to pneumonia and can cause blindness and death.
Publisher– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (United States)
Editor– Charlotte Kent