WHO: More than 140 000 die from measles as cases surge worldwide

6 December, 2019

Dear HIFA and CHIFA members,

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Extracts below. Full text here: https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/05-12-2019-more-than-140-000-die-fr...

WHO: More than 140 000 die from measles as cases surge worldwide

Babies and children most at risk of fatal complications

Worldwide more than 140,000 people died from measles in 2018, according to new estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC). These deaths occurred as measles cases surged globally, amidst devastating outbreaks in all regions.

Most deaths were among children under 5 years of age. Babies and very young children are at greatest risk from measles infections, with potential complications including pneumonia and encephalitis (a swelling of the brain), as well as lifelong disability - permanent brain damage, blindness or hearing loss...

“The fact that any child dies from a vaccine-preventable disease like measles is frankly an outrage and a collective failure to protect the world’s most vulnerable children,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus, Director-General of the World Health Organization...

“It is a tragedy that the world is seeing a rapid increase in cases and deaths from a disease that is easily preventable with a vaccine,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “While hesitancy and complacency are challenges to overcome, the largest measles outbreaks have hit countries with weak routine immunization and health systems. We must do better at reaching the most vulnerable, and that will be a fundamental focus of Gavi’s next five-year period.”

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Best wishes, Neil

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare In

formation For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with almost 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages (English, French, Spanish, Portuguese). Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org