WHO South-East Asia Region sets target of 2023 to eliminate measles & rubella
The member-countries of the World Health Organisation (WHO) South-East Asia Region have resolved to eliminate highly infectious childhood killer diseases measles and rubella by 2023. The resolution was adopted at the 72nd session of the WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia in New Delhi. Till date, 5 countries have eliminated measles – Bhutan, DPR Korea, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Timor-Leste. Six countries have controlled rubella – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Timor-Leste. Measles is dangerous for the poor, as it attacks malnourished children and those with reduced immunity. It can cause serious complications, including blindness, encephalitis, severe diarrhoea, ear infection and pneumonia, while rubella/ Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS) causes irreversible birth defects.