TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2016

Measles eradication campaign called for in India

A campaign similar to the one used to eradicate polio is necessary to eliminate measles in Uttar Pradesh, India, the state's minister for health and family welfare said on Monday.

Nitin Agarwal, the minister of state for health and family welfare in Uttar Pradesh, made the statement while inaugurating a three-week measles catch-up campaign in Lucknow. Health experts in India said measles is one of the most infectious human diseases and can lead to serious illness, life-long complications and death, the Times of India reports.

SNS Yadav, the state's chief medical officer, said that 460 teams and 129 supervisors will administer the measles shots. As many as six district level coordinators will support the health teams and as many as 90 medical officers received training in case of any adverse medical events following immunization.

Approximately 10,000 people die from measles annually in Uttar Pradesh, which works out to approximately 27 deaths per day, according to the Times of India.

According to the World Health Organization, 158,000 people died globally from measles in 2011. More than 95 percent of measles deaths occurred in low-income countries with weak health infrastructures.

Between 2000 and 2011, measles vaccination led to a 71 percent drop in measles deaths during that time. Approximately 84 percent of the world's children received at least one dose of measles vaccine by their first birthday through routine health services, an increase of 72 percent from the proportion vaccinated in 2000.