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