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Sri Lanka is free from rubella-WHO


The WHO said in a statement that the Maldives and Sri Lanka were confirmed yesterday to eradicate rubella and became the first two countries to achieve measles and rubella eradication prior to the 2023 target.

Congratulations to Maldives and Sri Lanka in recognition of Dr. Phunam Ketraparsin, Regional Director for Southeast Asia for WHO, saying, “Protecting all children from these murderers and debilitating illnesses is healthier. It is an important step in our efforts to achieve good health for the population and for all.”

The announcement was made after the 5th meeting of the Southeast Asia Regional Verification Commission on the Eradication of Measles and Rubella was effectively held. The committee is composed of 11 independent international experts in the fields of epidemiology, virology and public health. She said in a statement it was confirmed that the country ruled out measles and rubella in the absence of evidence that the measles and rubella virus endemic could be transmitted for more than three years in the presence of a sophisticated surveillance system. ..

The Maldives reported the last endemic case of measles and rubella in 2009, and Sri Lanka reported the last endemic case of measles and rubella in May 2016.

Dr. Khetrapal Singh came to the world as he worked on the COVID-19 pandemic, showing encouragement and the importance of collaborative efforts, commending the Ministry of Health, health workers, partners, and the most important communities. Together, they contributed to the achievement of this public health.

Regional directors commended Member States for their efforts to deliver life-saving vaccines to children, even while fighting a pandemic. “It is encouraging to see mass vaccination activities postponed in some countries, but it is encouraging to see efforts to resume them as soon as possible,” she said.

In a global study, more than half of all countries reported moderate to severe disruption or a total suspension of vaccination services in March and April. Preliminary information from the area suggests that both vaccination coverage and surveillance are affected. However, WHO’s Southeast Asian countries are working together to resume vaccination and surveillance and close the gap created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In recent years, two doses of measles-containing vaccines and at least one rubella-containing vaccine have been introduced into routine vaccination programs in all countries in the region. The first vaccination rate for vaccines containing measles is 88%, and the second vaccination rate is 76%. Since 2017, an additional 500 million children have been vaccinated with measles and rubella. Monitoring of measles and rubella has been further strengthened.

“We cannot hold or reverse progress towards the eradication of measles and rubella. We need to reach our goals for 2023,” the regional director said, and the WHO is helping Member States and partners. He added that he is committed to fully reviving vaccination and surveillance activities and improving strategic, operational, and policy guidelines that facilitate progress toward goals.

“More than ever, we must work together to achieve a vision of a community where children can’t die or die of diseases that are as easy to prevent as measles. Rubella A virus that doesn’t cause pregnant women to lose their fetuses. Unnecessary tragedy, like an intrauterine rubella infection, won’t give birth to a newborn with heart disease or hearing loss,” said Dr. Ketraparsin. ..

WHO Southeast Asia member states set 2023 as a target for eradication of measles and rubella in September last year, and revised the goals of the flagship program, which has been focused on eradication of measles and control of rubella since 2014.

Bhutan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and Timor-Leste are other countries in the region that have eradicated measles.


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