WHO urges South-East Asian countries to take urgent and accelerated measures against measles

World Health Organization (WHO) has urged all nations in South-East Asia to take urgent and accelerated measures against measles. The disease is on the rise with nearly nine million children having missed vaccination against it in the past two years. Regional Director of WHO South-East Asia Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh said, there is an urgent need to stop and prevent measles outbreaks and accelerate efforts to eliminate the disease. 

WHO said, by 2019 measles vaccination coverage reached an all-time high of 94 per cent for the first dose and 83 per cent for the second dose. However, in 2021, it was reduced to 86 per cent for first dose and 76 per cent for second, leaving nine million children unvaccinated for measles and around 5.3 million children partially vaccinated.

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