WHO warns that measles could cause 500,000 deaths in 2012

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that global efforts to eradicate measles has stagnated and that cases of this highly contagious disease were detected again in some countries. According to the agency, if no appropriate measures are taken and continues to increase in outbreaks, the disease could cause half a million deaths in 2012 and “make it very difficult to meet by 2015 the Millennium Development Goal that seeks the reduction in two-thirds of child mortality worldwide. ”

The alert was launched at the World Health Assembly in Geneva, where participants attributed the resurgence of the disease to the “significant decline” in funding for treatment and “a lack of political will of some governments.”

The head of the Department of Immunization WHO, Peter Strebel, recalled that from 1990 to 2008, much progress in the fight against the disease. However, he noted that recently there have been outbreaks in at least 31 countries in Africa, United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Zimbabwe, Chad and Nigeria are the most affected states in Africa, where since June 1100 have been reported measles deaths and more than 64,000 cases.

“To avoid a worldwide resurgence of this disease, they should strengthen immunization systems, continue with the preventive vaccination campaigns, and donors should increase their contributions. This year we have a deficit of $ 50 million” , Strebel said.

Among the goals WHO has set the 2015 figure measles coverage reaching 90% in immunization campaigns at the national level and 80% in every district, reducing measles cases to less than 5 for a million and mortality by 95% compared to the 2000 levels.

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