TechNet-21 - Forum

  1. Gabriela Felix
  2. Announcements
  3. Thursday, 29 September 2016

Washington, D.C., 27 September 2016 (PAHO/WHO) – The Region of the Americas is the first in the world to have eliminated measles, a viral disease that can cause severe health problems, including pneumonia, blindness, brain swelling and even death. This achievement culminates a 22-year effort involving mass vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella throughout the Americas.

The declaration of measles’ elimination was made by the International Expert Committee for Documenting and Verifying Measles, Rubella, and Congenital Rubella Syndrome Elimination in the Americas. The announcement came during the 55th Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), which is currently underway and is being attended by Ministers of Health from throughout the Americas.

Measles is the fifth vaccine-preventable disease to be eliminated from the Americas, after the regional eradication of smallpox in 1971, poliomyelitis in 1994, and rubella and congenital rubella syndrome in 2015.

“This is a historic day for our Region and indeed the world,” said PAHO/WHO Director Carissa F. Etienne. “It is proof of the remarkable success that can be achieved when countries work together in solidarity towards a common goal. It is the result of a commitment made more than two decades ago, in 1994, when the countries of the Americas pledged to end measles circulation by the turn of the 21st century.”

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The Region of the Americas was declared free of measles on 27 September 2016.

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I believe this is a very important milestone towards global elimination of measles, rubella and congenital rubella syndrome. Its a challenge now for the other Regions to ensure 'promises are met' timely, effectively and efficiently. Congratulations the Regions of the Americas!


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