Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS) is a preventable cause of infant mortality and lifelong disability. Previous analyses concluded that approximately 110,000 (range: 14,000–308,000) children were born with CRS in 1996 in 78 (developing) countries which had not introduced rubella-containing vaccine (RCV) in their national programme. Updated estimates are important, given growing activity in controlling and eliminating rubella and CRS. By 2010, 130 countries had introduced RCV nationally, compared with 83 reporting use by 1996 and three of the six WHO regions had established rubella control/elimination and CRS prevention/ elimination goals.
While falling dramatically in the Americas, Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean after vaccination, the estimated CRS incidence remains high elsewhere. Read the full study here.