WHO: Dramatic drop in global measles mortality rate

December 5, 2008

The UN World Health Organization (WHO) has reported a 74% global decrease in the rate of measles deaths in the 2000s, according to Reuters.

The UN World Health Organization (WHO) has reported a 74% global decrease in the rate of measles deaths in the 2000s, according to Reuters.

Measles deaths dropped from an estimated 750,000 in 2000 to 197,000 in 2007, the WHO stated. In Africa, measles deaths fromm from an estimated 395,000 in 2000 to 45,000 in 2007, or an 89% decrease.

A concerted measles vaccination effort in Africa and other countries heavily affected by the disease was implemented in 2001. The vaccination program, launched by the American Red Cross, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the UN Foundation, UNICEF, and the WHO, succeeded in vaccinating more than 600 million children in more than 60 countries, Reuters reported.