Friday, November 30, 2007

Yay for Africa!!

So, I was working on my viral model and sifting through reading on measles virus when I read about the UN 2010 initiative to reduce the numbers of African deaths due to measles infections by a whopping 90%. I remember thinking about this for a while after I finished reading the article and I wondered what the numbers were currently looking like and if the goal was actually going to be met. Well...I just read an article announcing that the UN 2010 initiative goal has already been met!! And, not only have the number of deaths due to measles been reduced by 90%, but it's only 2007!! The article specifically states:

"Measles deaths in Africa fell by 91 percent between 2000 and 2006, from an estimated 396,000 to 36,000, reaching the United Nations 2010 goal to cut measles deaths by 90 percent four years early. The spectacular gains achieved in Africa helped generate a strong decline in global measles deaths, which fell 68 percent worldwide -- from an estimated 757,000 to 242,000 -- during this period.The progress was announced today by the founding partners of the Measles Initiative: the American Red Cross, UNICEF, the United Nations Foundation, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The data will be published in the November 30th editions of WHO's Weekly Epidemiological Record and CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report."This is a major public health success and a tribute to the commitment of countries in the African region," said Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General. "We need to sustain this success and intensify our efforts in other parts of the world, as there are still far too many lives lost to this disease."The significant decline in measles deaths in Africa was made possible by the firm commitment of national governments to fully implement the measles reduction strategy, which includes vaccinating all children against measles before their first birthday via routine health services and providing a second opportunity for measles vaccination through mass vaccination campaigns."

If you want to read more:


Becca Briggs

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