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.

SAGE endorses Midterm Review of Global Strategy

SAGE endorses Midterm Review of the Global Measles and Rubella Strategic Plan 2012-2020

The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization met in Geneva, October 18 to 20, 2016. As part of its intensive three day agenda, SAGE reviewed the independent report presented by Dr. Walt Orenstein, Professor of Medicine at Emory University and Chair of the Midterm Review panel.

Measles mortality has dropped by 79% between 2000 and 2014 with an estimated 17.1 million lives saved through measles vaccination during this same time period. Despite these significant advances, the Midterm Review found the strategies articulated in the Global Measles and Rubella Strategic Plan 2012-2020 have not been fully implemented due to lack of country ownership and global political will as reflected in insufficient resources.

The report also recommends an increased focus with improving immunization systems in general to ensure that the gains made thus far in measles and rubella control can be sustained.

The Measles & Rubella Initiative welcomes this review and continues to work with partners, stakeholders and countries to push measles and rubella elimination activities towards 2020 goals and beyond. Our focus continues to be on increasing resources and ensuring technical work continues apace to ensure that recommendations from the review can be incorporated towards the global elimination of measles and rubella.

The Midterm Review report is available here.

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SAGE is the principal advisory group to WHO for vaccines and immunization, providing guidance on global policies and strategies.