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Global Goal to Reduce Measles Deaths in Children Surpassed

ne dose of measles vaccine for all infants via routine health services;
· A second opportunity for measles immunization for all children, generally through mass vaccination campaigns;
· Effective surveillance for measles; and
· Enhanced care, including the provision of supplemental vitamin A.
As a result of this strategy, between 1999 and 2005 global measles immunization coverage with the first routine dose increased from 71% to 77%, and more than 360 million children aged nine months to 15 years received measles vaccine through immunization campaigns.

One of the clearest messages from this achievement is that with the right strategies and a strong partnership of committed governments and organizations, you can rapidly reduce child deaths in developing countries," said Dr Julie Gerberding, Director, United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Accelerated measles control activities are contributing to the development of health infrastructure to support routine immunization and other health services through promotion of safe injection practices, increased cold chain capacity for vaccines storage, and the development of a global public health laboratory network.

In addition, measles vaccination campaigns are contributing to the reduction of child deaths from other causes. They have become a channel for the delivery of other life-saving interventions, such as bednets to protect against malaria, de-worming medicine and vitamin A supplements. Combining measles immunization with other health interventions is a contribution to the achievement of Millennium Development Goal Number 4: a two thirds reduction in child deaths between 1990 and 2015.

Reducing measles deaths by 60% in just six years is an incredible achievement," said UNICEF Executive Director, Ann M. Veneman. “Immunizing children is clearly saving lives and contributing to the achievement of the Millennium Development G
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