Study on India’s Measles Campaign

The findings of the study published in the journal eLife suggest that mass measles vaccination campaign of India helped save the lives of tens of thousands of children between 2010 and 2013.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. Measles has been an important cause of death among young children globally, despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine.

Findings of the Study

  • The study suggests that that the measles vaccine campaigns helped save 41,000 to 56,000 children in India during 2010 to 2013, or 39-57 per cent of the expected number of deaths nationally.
  • The study found that found that mortality in children aged between one and 59 months fell more in the campaign states following launch (27 per cent) than in the non-campaign states (11 per cent).
  • The study notes that eliminating deaths from measles in India could be possible, although it will require continued diligence to ensure high immunisation rates among Indian children and direct mortality monitoring.
  • Measles mortality risk was notably lower for children living in the campaign districts and those born between 2010-2013.
  • The campaign was particularly successful for girls, as there was a steeper decline in the mortality rates of girls than boys in the vaccination campaign states during the three-year period.
  • But still, the mortality rates remain higher for girls reference for boys and/or lower levels of breastfeeding and healthcare access.

The study adopted a novel statistical method on data from the Million Death Study (MDS), a nationally representative sample of all deaths in India, which includes detailed interviews with families about child deaths.




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