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Measles Initiative Supports Disease Prevention for Children in China's Earthquake Zone
Date:11/10/2008

is often a high priority for populations following a natural disaster," said Dr Edward Hoekstra, UNICEF's Senior Health Specialist and Coordinator of UNICEF's Measles Program. "This is especially true for children who have been displaced and are living in crowded conditions."

Already the provinces of Sha'anxi and Sichuan have completed province-wide vaccination campaigns in 2007-08 as part of the country's commitment to eliminating measles in China by 2012.The Sichuan campaign was completed with support from the Measles Initiative just prior to the earthquake, and may have prevented outbreaks in the wake of the disaster. However, given the extent of damage following the earthquake, support for routine immunization services is critical.

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 financial support to governments and communities on vaccination campaigns worldwide. To date, the Initiative has supported the vaccination of more than 500 million children in more than 60 countries helping reduce measles deaths by more than 68% globally and 91% in Africa (compared to 2000). To learn more or make a donation, visit http://www.measlesinitiative.org.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Christy Feig, American Red Cross, Washington, DC, +1.202.303.5074; FeigC@usa.redcross.org

Casey Boudreau, CDC, Atlanta, +1 404 639 8404; znc5@cdc.gov

Amy DiElsi, UN Foundation, Washington, DC, +1 202 419 3230; adielsi@unfoundation.org

Christian Moen, UNICEF, New York, +1 212 326 7516; cmoen@unicef.or

Alison Brunier, WHO, Geneva, +41 22 791 4468;

SOURCE American Red Cross
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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