Measles prevention, surveillance and control training in Republic of Moldova

WHO

Amid concerns about ongoing measles transmission in many countries of the WHO European Region, health professionals in the Transnistrian region were given updated information on the current measles situation as part of extended training on prevention, surveillance and control of the disease on 18 July 2018.

More than 86 paediatricians, infectious diseases doctors and epidemiologists in the Transnistrian region attended the training in Tiraspol, organized by WHO/Europe and the National Public Health Agency. The training featured presentations and facilitated discussions on the lessons learned after measles cases and outbreaks in Transnistria.

The health professionals were acquainted with:

  • updated information about the measles situation, disease burden and surveillance
  • measles surveillance standards and the laboratory network
  • prevention and control measures.

Experts from the National Public Health Agency and the “Nicolae Testemitanu” Department of Infectious Diseases of the State University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Chisinau, delivered presentations and facilitated technical discussions. The participants agreed on a package of recommendations and next steps that need to be taken to ensure early detection and appropriate treatment and management of cases in order to prevent the further spread of measles and potential outbreaks.

In addition to the training, a package of information materials, including leaflets on vaccine-preventable diseases and an infographic on measles, were disseminated in all health-care facilities in the Transnistrian region.

Measles cases in 2018

The Republic of Moldova has sustained elimination of endemic transmission of measles since the close of 2015, as assessed annually by the European Regional Verification Commission for Measles and Rubella Elimination. However, approximately 37 measles cases have been registered in the country, including in the Transnistrian region, so far in 2018. The first cases were imported from neighbouring Romania and Ukraine.

Due to an alarming increase in measles in the Region, with over 30 000 cases reported for January to June 2018, as well as regular travel among countries, health authorities in the Republic of Moldova are closely monitoring the situation and continuing efforts to sustain high routine immunization coverage and outbreak preparedness in the country.

The activity was financially supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation through the Multi-Partner Trust Fund. The WHO Country Office is coordinating this initiative, as well as activities under 2 main pillars: perinatal health and immunization. The initiative runs from 2016 to 2019 and covers activities on both banks of the Dniester River.