Saturday, 5th of May 2012 Print

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From the Executive Summary:

This Strategic Plan 2012–2020 explains how countries, working together with the MR Initiative and its partners, will achieve a world without measles, rubella and congenital rubella syndrome (CRS).

The Plan builds on the experience and successes of a decade of accelerated measles control efforts that resulted in a 74% reduction in measles deaths globally between 2000 and 2010 (1).

It integrates the newest 2011 World Health Organization (WHO) policy on rubella vaccination which recommends combining measles and rubella control strategies and planning efforts, given the shared surveillance and widespread use of combined measles-rubella vaccine formulations, i.e. measles-rubella (MR) and measles-mumps-rubella (MMR). The Plan presents clear strategies that country immunization managers, working with domestic and international partners, can use as a blueprint to achieve the 2015 and 2020 measles and rubella control and elimination goals. The strategy focuses on the implementation of five core components.

1. Achieve and maintain high levels of population immunity by providing high vaccination coverage with two doses of measles- and rubella-containing vaccines.


2. Monitor disease using effective surveillance, and evaluate programmatic efforts to ensure progress.

3. Develop and maintain outbreak preparedness, respond rapidly to outbreaks and manage cases.


4. Communicate and engage to build public confidence and demand for immunization.

5. Perform the research and development needed to support cost-effective operations and improve vaccination and diagnostic tools.

The Plan provides the global context and an assessment of the current state of the world with respect to national, regional and global management of measles and rubella. It outlines guiding principles that provide a foundation for all measles and rubella control efforts, including country ownership, strengthening routine immunization and health systems, ensuring linkages with other health interventions and providing equity in immunization by reaching every child. Given the progress made to date, the plan includes a list of priority countries that require additional support to meet regional and global goals. It also examines key challenges to measles and rubella control and elimination, including: financial risks; high population density and highly mobile populations; weak immunization systems and inaccurate reporting of vaccination coverage; managing perceptions and misperceptions; and conflict and emergency settings. The Plan offers solutions to these challenges, discusses the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders, and provides indicators to monitor and evaluate national, regional and global progress towards the vision and goals.

Countries bear the largest responsibility for measles and rubella control and elimination, and they must support sustainable national planning, funding and advocacy to protect their citizens from devastating preventable diseases.

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