Sri Lanka, Maldives eliminate measles & rubella in South East Asia


NEW DELHI | JULY 08, 2020:

Sri Lanka and the Maldives, on Wednesday, were verified for having eliminated rubella, making them the first two countries in the World Health Organization South-East Asia region to achieve that ahead of the 2023 target.

The announcement was made by the World Health Organization (WHO) in Sri Lanka after the fifth meeting of the South-East Asia Regional Verification Commission for Measles and Rubella Elimination.

The commission comprises 11 independent international experts fields of epidemiology, virology and, public health.

"Protecting all children against these killer and debilitating diseases is an important step in our endeavour to achieve healthier population and health for all," said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region.

According to the WHO statement, "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."

Bhutan, DPR Korea and Timor-Leste are other countries in the Region who have eliminated measles.