Progress Toward Measles Elimination — Pakistan, 2000–2018
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Progress Toward Measles Elimination — Pakistan, 2000–2018

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  • Alternative Title:
    MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
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  • Description:
    In 1997, the 21 countries in the World Health Organization (WHO) Eastern Mediterranean Region* (EMR) passed a resolution during the 41st session of the Regional Committee for the Eastern Mediterranean to eliminate measles| (1). In 2015, this goal was included as a priority in the Eastern Mediterranean Vaccine Action Plan 2016-2020 (2), approved at the 62nd session of the Regional Committee (3). To achieve measles elimination, the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean developed the following four-pronged strategy: 1) achieve ≥95% vaccination coverage with the first dose of measles-containing vaccine (MCV) among children in every district of each country through routine immunization services; 2) achieve ≥95% vaccination coverage with a second MCV dose in every district of each country either through implementation of a routine 2-dose vaccination schedule or through supplementary immunization activities (SIAs)|; 3) conduct high-quality, case-based measles Surveillance in all countries; and 4) provide optimal measles clinical case management, including dietary supplementation with vitamin A (4). Pakistan, an EMR country with a population of approximately 200 million, accounts for nearly one third of the overall EMR population. This report describes progress and challenges toward measles elimination in Pakistan during 2000-2018. During the study period, estimated coverage with the first MCV dose (MCV1) increased from 57% in 2000 to 76% in 2017. The second MCV dose (MCV2) was introduced nationwide in 2009, and MCV2 coverage increased from 30% in 2009 to 45% in 2017. During 2000-2018, approximately 232.5 million children received doses of MCV during SIAs. Reported confirmed measles incidence increased from an average of 24.6 per 1 million persons during 2000-2009 to an average of 80.4 during 2010-2018, with peaks in 2013 (230.3) and 2018 (153.6). In 2017 and 2018, the rates of suspected cases discarded as nonmeasles after investigation were 2.1 and 1.5 per 100,000 population, reflecting underreporting of cases. To achieve measles elimination, additional efforts are needed to increase MCV1 and MCV2 coverage, develop strategies to identify and reach communities not accessing immunization services, and increase sensitivity of case-based measles Surveillance in all districts.
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