Bangladesh launches measles-rubella immunization with GAVI

Bangladesh launched a major measles-rubella immunization campaign with the help of the GAVI Alliance on Sunday, and expects to reach approximately 52 million children.

"This is the largest ever measles-rubella campaign launched to date with support from the GAVI Alliance," GAVI Alliance CEO Dr. Seth Berkley said. "Investing in rubella will provide a much-needed boost to improving women's and children's health, and will help accelerate global progress in controlling two life-threatening diseases. GAVI plans to support 49 countries to introduce the combined measles-rubella vaccine immunizing close to 700 million boys and girls by 2020."

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina led the ceremony that launched the three-week immunization campaign. The campaign focuses on reaching children between nine months of age and 15-years-old through more than 170,000 schools and 150,000 health care immunization centers. The campaign also gives special consideration to children without homes or who are considered to be "difficult-to-reach."

Many organizations are supporting the initiative, including the Government of Bangladesh, GAVI Alliance, World Health Organization, United Nations Children's Fund and Lions Club International. The effort is part of an international Measles & Rubella Initiative through the GAVI Alliance to protect 1.1 billion children from measles.