The Maldives and Sri Lanka now the first two countries in the South East Asia region to eliminate both measles and rubella.
On 8th July 2020, WHO announced that Sri Lanka and the Maldives become the first two countries in the WHO’s South East Asia region to eliminate both measles and rubella ahead of a 2023 target. Poonam khetrapal Singh, WHO’s regional director said that ” this success is encouraging and demonstrates the importance of joint efforts.
” Any country who has no evidence of born(endemic) transmission of the viruses for more than three years and there’s a well-performing monitoring system is considered to have abolished measles and rubella. The last endemic case in the Maldives of measles was in 2009 and rubella in October 2015 and Sri Lanka reported it’s measles in May 2016 and rubella in March 2017.
The countries in the WHO’s South-East Asia region are Bangladesh, Bhutan, East Timor, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Burma, North Korea, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
In 2019, Sri Lanka become the third nation from the South East Asia region of the World Health Organization for eliminating measles from the South East Asia region in 2023.
WHO said that all of the countries in recent years have introduced two doses of measles vaccine and at least on a dose of rubella vaccine in their routine immunization programs.
WHO added that the first dose coverage of measles vaccine is now 88% and the second coverage is 76% in the region, WHO said since 2017, nearly 500 million more children in the region have been vaccinated for measles and rubella.