Maldives and Sri Lanka eliminate Rubella and Measles

Image: Ask The Scientists

New Delhi, India – The Regional Office of WHO South-East Asia has declared Maldives and Sri Lanka as the first two countries in the region to have eradicated Rubella and Measles ahead of the 2023 target.

The announcement was made after the fifth meeting of the South-East Asia Regional Verification Commission for Measles and Rubella Elimination, which was held virtually. The Commission comprises of 11 independent international experts in the fields of epidemiology, virology and public health.

“Protecting all children against these killer and debilitating diseases is an important step in our endeavor to achieve healthier population and health for all,” said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region, congratulating Maldives and Sri Lanka on their achievement.

A country is verified as having eliminated Measles and Rubella when there is no evidence of endemic transmission of the viruses for over three years in the presence of a well performing surveillance system.

Maldives reported last endemic case of measles in 2009 and of rubella in October 2015, while Sri Lanka reported last endemic case of measles in May 2016 and of rubella in March 2017.

Source: WHO South-East Asia Regional Office