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$9 Million Committed to Bolster Worldwide Measles Initiative
Date:9/25/2008

rkable public-private partnership," said Kathy Calvin, the UN Foundation's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. "This is an effective model for how UN agencies, private sector experts, non-governmental organizations and individuals can work together to save lives and improve public health around the world."

Measles immunizations campaigns in Africa have been remarkably successful, resulting in a reduction in African measles mortality by an estimated 90% since 2000.

"Thanks to the Measles Initiative, the world has made great progress in combating measles," said Margaret G. McGlynn, president, Merck Vaccines and Infectious Diseases. "We are proud to support measles surveillance program to help countries identify the weakest areas of measles vaccine coverage and head off potential outbreaks. Such insight will be critical to help achieve the Measles Initiative's goal to reduce measles deaths by 90 percent during this decade." As part of its commitment Merck & Co., Inc. is providing a $2 million grant to strengthen measles surveillance in the African region.

Despite dramatic progress, real challenges remain in the fight to reduce measles deaths around the world. The Measles Initiative is simultaneously working to sustain gains made in Africa and other regions, while expanding support in India, which now accounts for the vast majority of global measles deaths. To succeed, the Initiative must rapidly secure new and additional financial support.

Note to the editor: Individuals can support the Measles Initiative by making a donation at www.measlesinitiative.org.

The Measles Initiative is a partnership committed to reducing measles deaths globally. Launched in 2001, the Initiative--led by the American Red Cross, the United Nations Foundation, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF and the World Health Organization--provides technical and fina
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