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Maldives, Sri Lanka eliminate measles and rubella ahead of 2023 target
MALDIVES, SRI LANKA ELIMINATE MEASLES AND RUBELLA AHEAD OF 2023 TARGET
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Maldives and Sri Lanka were on Wednesday verified for 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 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.
Coming at a time when the entire world is grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, this success is encouraging and demonstrates the importance of joint efforts, Dr Khetrapal Singh said, lauding the Ministries of Health, health workforce, partners, and most importantly the communities, who together contributed to this public health achievement.
Member countries of WHO South-East Asia Region had in September last year set 2023 as the target for elimination of measles and rubella, revising the goal of the flagship programme that since 2014 had focused on measles elimination and rubella control.
Bhutan, DPR Korea and Timor-Leste are other countries in the Region who have eliminated measles.