Lao and Cambodia, two of the poorest countries in the Western Pacific Region, have made significant progress towards measles elimination by achieving high levels of vaccination coverage.
The Government of Lao recently recognized the World Health Organization and Unicef, lead partners of the Measles & Rubella Partnership with an award for their work against measles in Lao.
Lao’s confirmed measles cases have been reduced significantly from 1680 in 2007 to just 19 in 2012. This is the direct result of a successful vaccination campaign initiated in 2007 and followed-up with a measles-rubella campaign in 2011.
This month, Lao presented WHO and Unicef Lao with the President’s Badge of Labour and Medal of Labour in recognition of the humanitarian work they have done to contribute to measles elimination in Lao.
Cambodia too is on the verge of becoming a measles-free country having reported zero cases for a full 12 months last year. This represents a remarkable decrease from 2011, when more than 700 cases of measles in children were reported, and from 2008, when there were more than 1800 cases.
The country will be certified measles-free if it manages to sustain the achievement and report no measles cases for another two years. Cambodia is also embarking on rubella control activities and plans a nationwide campaign later in 2013.
Succeess in these countries, with support from the Measles & Rubella Partnership, is contributing to the wider success of the WHO Western Pacific Region which is on a clear path to eliminating measles. See more here.