WHO and UNICEF concerned about measles outbreak in Eastern and Southern Africa

A steep increase in cases of measles in Eastern and Southern Africa has put recent gains in reducing death rate due to this highly contagious disease at risk of being reversed.

As of mid-June 2010, the outbreak has affected more than 47,907 children in 14 countries, resulting in 731 deaths. The most recent confirmed measles outbursts were reported from Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia.

The measles control strategies being implemented in the region include: a first dose measles immunization through routine infant immunization programmes; a second opportunity measles vaccination to children during supplemental immunization activities (SIAs) or during a routine service delivery schedule during the second year of life; high quality disease surveillance supplemented with laboratory confirmation; and case management.

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