China aims to eliminate measles

Chen Zhu, the health minister of China, stated on Thursday that the country is trying to eliminate the incidence of measles in China over the next five years following a 25.8 percent drop in 2010.

According to Ministry of Health figures, 102 million people received measles vaccinations across China in 2010, according to China Daily.

"The prevention and control systems for major diseases will be improved in the 12th Five-Year Program (2011-2015) to basically control malaria and eliminate measles," Chen said during a national meeting on health work, China Daily reports.

The central government of China set aside over 150 million yuan ($22.6 million) in September to give the measles vaccine to children between the ages of eight months and four years old.

"The move is an all-out effort to enhance citizens' immunity to measles and to stop the spread of the disease," Chen said, according to China Daily.

The measles effort is one of many disease eradication efforts China has undertaken, including initiatives to stop schistosomiasis, tuberculosis, AIDS and hepatitis B. Over 29 million children under the age of 15 were given free hepatitis B vaccines last year.

The Ministry of Health reports that cases of 15 communicable diseases in China, including diphtheria, dropped in the past year.