Measles-free mile­stone

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

LON­DON: Bhutan and the Mal­dives have elim­i­nated measles, be­com­ing the first coun­tries in their re­gion to elim­i­nate the high­ly­in­fec­tious dis­ease, the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion said yes­ter­day.

The mile­stone was reached af­ter no measles cases orig­i­nat­ing in the Mal­dives had been recorded since 2009 and none in Bhutan since 2012, the WHO said. Both coun­tries launched im­mu­ni­sa­tion pro­grammes about 40 years ago with mass vac­ci­na­tion of peo­ple at high risk. “The strong­est po­lit­i­cal com­mit­ment, along­side con­certed ef­forts of health work­ers, of­fi­cials and part­ners at all lev­els, has helped achieve this land­mark suc­cess,” said Poonam Khetra­pal Singh, re­gional di­rec­tor of WHO South­east Asia. – Reuters

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