Sri Lanka and Maldives were yesterday verified for having eliminated rubella, making them the first two countries in WHO South-East Asia Region to achieve measles and rubella elimination ahead of the 2023 target.
WHO South-East Asia Regional Director Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh congratulated Maldives and Sri Lanka on the achievement and said, “protecting all children against these killer and debilitating diseases is an important step in our endeavour to achieve healthier population and health for all.” The WHO made the announcement after the fifth meeting of the South-East Asia Regional Verification Commission for Measles and Rubella Elimination, held virtually.
The Commission comprises of 11 independent international experts in the fields of epidemiology, virology and public health. A country is verified as having eliminated measles and rubella when there is no evidence of endemic transmission of the measles and rubella viruses for over three years in the presence of a well performing surveillance system. The Maldives reported last endemic case of measles in 2009 and of rubella in October 2015, while Sri Lanka reported last endemic case of measles in May 2016 and of rubella in March 2017.
Protecting all children against these killer and debilitating diseases is an important step in our endeavour to achieve healthier population and health for all