Mothers wait in line to have their babies vaccinated against measles at a healthcare center in Larintsena, Madagascar.
Photo: AP Photo/Laetitia Bezain
- About 6.75 million measles cases were recorded in Africa in 2022, an 18% increase from 2021.
- Covid-19 disrupted measles vaccination programmes, resulting in about 33 million children missing a complete vaccination, more than 70% of them in Africa.
- WHO said 28 of the 37 countries experiencing large or disruptive measles outbreaks are in Africa.
About 75% of global measles cases in 2022 were in Africa
during a year in which there was an 18% increase in the number of global cases
and 48% of fatalities compared to 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO)
In a new report by the Center for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDCP), the estimated number of measles cases globally reached 9
million (6.75 million in Africa), and deaths were around 136 000 – mostly among
WHO said the measles cases were “large or
disruptive,” with only the Americas and Australia without recorded cases.
“In 2022, 37 countries experienced large or disruptive
measles outbreaks, compared with 22 countries in 2021. Of the countries
experiencing outbreaks, 28 were in the WHO Region for Africa, six in the
Eastern Mediterranean, two in Southeast Asia, and one in the European
Region,” WHO said in a statement.
John Vertefeuille, director of the CDC’s global immunisation
division, said the increase in cases was due to the reduced vaccination drives,
particularly in Africa, the most affected part of the world.
“The increase in measles outbreaks and deaths is
staggering, but unfortunately, not unexpected given the declining vaccination
rates we’ve seen in the past few years,” he said.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, most public health crises were
neglected as the world switched to maximising Covid-19 vaccination initiatives.
As such, urgent, targeted efforts are critical to prevent
measles disease and deaths, he added.
Kate O’Brien, WHO director for immunisation, vaccines, and
biologicals, said the slow uptake during the Covid-19 pandemic era was of
The lack of recovery in measles vaccine coverage in low-income countries following the pandemic is an alarm bell for action. Measles is called the inequity virus for good reason. It is the disease that will find and attack those who aren’t protected.
While global vaccination coverage increased somewhat from
2021 to 2022, about 33 million children missed a measles vaccine dose:
approximately 22 million missed their first dose, and an additional 11 million
missed their second dose.
The global vaccine coverage rate for the first dosage was
83%, while the second dose was 74%, both of which were considerably below the
95% coverage with two doses required to protect communities against epidemics,
Poor nations, where the danger of mortality from measles is
highest, continue to have the lowest vaccination rates, at only 66%, indicating
little rebound from the pandemic’s backsliding.
Over half of the 22 million children who did not receive
their first dose of measles vaccination in 2022 live in just 10 countries:
Angola, Brazil, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India,
Indonesia, Madagascar, Nigeria, Pakistan, and the Philippines, the global
health body said.
The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced through the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained herein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.
Source link : https://www.news24.com/news24/africa/news/about-75-of-global-measles-cases-in-2022-were-in-africa-20231117
Publish date : 2023-11-17 18:45:38