Friday, 24th September 2021

WHO: Measles eliminated in Sri Lanka

Colombo, July 9 (BAN/ AD): In a major announcement on Tuesday World Health Organization has announced that measles has been eliminated in Sri Lanka.

Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director WHO said “Sri Lanka’s achievement comes at a time when globally measles cases are increasing. The country’s success demonstrates its commitment and the determination of its health workforce and parents to protect children against measles.”

Sri Lanka reported last case of measles in 2016 May. An independent committee has reviewed data and concluded that Sri Lanka has stopped transmission of indigenous measles virus. When a country stops transmission of indigenous virus for three years then it is declared Measles free.

The country has a strong surveillance system and all vaccine-preventable diseases are an integral part of the communicable disease surveillance system. Measles is a notifiable disease in the country.

After Bhutan, Maldives and Timor-Leste Sri Lanka is 4th nation to eliminate measles and control rubella. Last year Sri Lanka achieved rubella control, along with five other countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Timor-Leste.

WHO regional director has said “Elimination of measles is a good indicator of the strength of immunization systems generally and, by extension, of the quality and reach of the primary health care system.”

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