World Health Organisation (WHO) pronounced Tuesday that the Maldives has completely eliminated measles from the country.
The announcement was made by WHO South-East Asia’s Regional Director Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh at the eighth meeting of Immunization Technical Advisory Group in Indian capital, New Delhi. In addition to the Maldives, the other country in South Asia to eliminate measles is Bhutan.
In a statement released to mark the achievement, Health Protection Agency (HPA) proclaimed that the Maldives and Bhutan are two of the countries that targeted to eradicate measles before 2020.
Vaccination against measles commenced in the Maldives in 1983. The first recorded case of measles in the archipelago was in 2009.
HPA noted that a special campaign was launched in 2005-2007 to raise awareness and prevent the spread of measles in the Maldives. The agency also conducted a national campaign against measles and rubella in February and March this year.
In its statement, HPA vowed that vaccination will continue to maintain the Maldives’ status as a measles-free country, and that the agency will closely monitor the situation to detect possible re-emergence of the disease.