Global partners join the call to end measles and rubella

Last week, the Measles & Rubella Initiative was joined by an array of partners in Geneva, for an advocacy event on October 21st, co-hosted by the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the Sabin Vaccine Institute.

The event highlighted global progress in preventing measles and rubella, the recommendations of the Midterm Review report of the Global Measles and Rubella Strategic Plan 2012-2020, just recently endorsed by SAGE, and Gavi’s new Measles and Rubella strategy.

Speakers included Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General, Mr. Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General, IFRC and Ms. Anuradha Gupta, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.  Dr. Jin Tongling, Deputy Director of EPI, People’s Republic of China was a special guest, presenting China’s experience in using measles vaccination to strengthen its routine systems.

Recent developments in global efforts to protect children against measles and rubella were also presented, culminating in a robust discussion on the steps needed to further progress towards elimination. The discussion also raised awareness within the global community of the burden of measles and rubella, that measles is a key indicator of a country’s routine immunization strength; and a key issue in complex setting and emergencies.

Our partners joined in the collective plea for stronger commitment for political support and swift action from countries and agencies to end the high toll of measles and rubella worldwide.