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With support from the Measles & Rubella Initiative and commitment from governments around the world, global measles deaths worldwide were reduced by 79% between 2000 and 2015, from an estimated 651,600 to 134,200.*
African countries have made the most progress and reduced measles deaths by about 85% between 2000 and 2015. However, progress against measles has stalled since 2010 when reduced political and financial commitment resulted in an increase in unprotected children and large outbreaks in many parts of Africa, Europe, the Middle East and South East Asia.
Outbreaks are continuing, and countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and Nigeria are priorities for improving coverage and reducing child deaths. The resurgence of disease in some countries in Africa can be reversed with improved routine immunization and high-quality campaigns.
In the Eastern Mediterranean region countries achieved a 76% reduction in measles mortality from 2000-2015 while measles mortality in Europe and the Western Pacific accounted for a very small proportion of measles deaths in the world. The Americas have not had an indigenous measles case since 2002.
While the global progress on measles mortality is impressive, it has stalled in recent years and in 2015, 400 children still died each day of measles.
* The data is based on “Progress Toward Regional Measles Elimination — Worldwide, 2000–2015 report. ” as published in the November 16, 2016 Weekly Epidemiological Record.
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