The world has not done enough to improve vaccine coverage, and now measles is experiencing a resurgence in almost every corner of the world.
Last year, the number of reported measles cases increased by more than 30 percent worldwide. according to a new report from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Control (CDC).
Experts have warned for years that this could happen. Although measles are easily prevented by two doses, we need about 95 percent to prevent outbreaks.
Today, this goal is still far away. For almost a decade, we have not been able to achieve vaccine coverage of over 85 percent. And after years of humiliation, the Impflücke finally takes its toll.
In the new report, in 201
"Without urgent efforts to increase vaccine coverage and identify populations with unacceptable levels of infants under and / or unimmunized, we risk losing children and children over decades to communities against this devastating but entirely preventable disease," warns Soumya Swaminathan, Deputy Director-General for WHO Programs.
To really understand what that means to the world, we only have to look back a few generations.
Prior to 1963, when there was no measles vaccine, the world experienced a major measles outbreak every few years, causing 2.6 million deaths each year.
Five decades later, the world is nearer destroying this highly contagious and potential potential than ever before a deadly disease. In fact, countries like the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Japan have already done so, and many other nations are on the verge of doing the same.
Thanks to this worldwide effort since the turn of the century Measles vaccine has saved over 21 million lives and reduced the death toll by 80 percent in just 17 years.
However, after years of progress, things have turned to the worst, which to a large extent largely corresponds to a lack of funding and increasing misinformation.
"The resuscitation of measles is extremely worrying and there are widespread outbreaks in all regions, especially in countries where eradication of measles has been achieved or was approaching," said Swaminathan. 19659002] Watching measles in a global comeback is like watching a character in a horror movie making silly decisions in slow motion. As a global community, we know that there is a safe and effective way to eradicate measles at our fingertips, and yet we still fail to have the weapon at hand.
Instead, we walk up the goddamn stairs again.
The report found in 2017 that 20.8 million infants worldwide did not receive the first measles vaccine.
"The increase in measles cases is deeply worrying, but not surprising," says Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
Most public health experts have been around for years. Organizations such as WHO and its partners in the Measles and Rubella Initiative have already warned that the avoidable disease could recover if immunization rates are not strengthened.
But since measles are a much smaller threat today, many nations have become careless in their attempts to ensure their elimination. In addition, false rumors, misconceptions and myths about the vaccine have only helped to fuel recent outbreaks.
In Europe, for example, false information about the measles vaccine is particularly obvious, with less than 70% vaccination coverage in some areas
"The complacency over the disease and the spread of lies about the vaccine in Europe is a collapsing one Health system in Venezuela and fragile fractures and low vaccine coverage in Africa are joining together to lead to a worldwide resurgence of measles after years of progress, "Berkley says.
The authors of the report call for urgent action. They say we need sustainable investment to boost routine immunization, especially in the poorest and marginalized communities.
At the same time, they need to ensure public support for vaccinations, countering misinformation and delaying vaccines as much and as quickly as possible.
"Existing strategies need to change: more efforts need to be made to increase routine vaccine coverage and strengthen health systems," argues Berkley.
"Otherwise, we will follow one outbreak after another."
This report has been published by the World Health Organization.