By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced today that Maldives and Sri Lanka were verified having eliminated rubella, making them the first two countries in WHO South-East Asia Region to achieve measles and rubella elimination ahead of the 2023 target.
The announcement was made after the fifth meeting of the South-East Asia Regional Verification Commission for Measles and Rubella Elimination.
“Protecting all children against these killer and debilitating diseases is an important step in our endeavor to achieve healthier population and health for all,” said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region, congratulating Maldives and Sri Lanka on their achievement.
The UN agency said a country is verified as having eliminated measles and rubella when there is no evidence of endemic transmission of the measles and rubella viruses for over three years in the presence of a well performing surveillance system.
Maldives reported last endemic case of measles in 2009 and of rubella in October 2015, while Sri Lanka reported last endemic case of measles in May 2016 and of rubella in March 2017.
Bhutan, DPR Korea and Timor-Leste are other countries in the Region who have eliminated measles.
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