WHO/Europe launches plan for accelerated action to eliminate measles and rubella

Outbreaks of measles and rubella reported in the WHO European Region since early this year seriously threaten the Region’s 2015 elimination goal for these diseases. To meet this target, greater political commitment and accelerated actions are needed by Member States, WHO and other partners.

The “Package for accelerated action for measles and rubella elimination”  presented on 18 September 2013 to European ministers of health at the 63rd Session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe identifies priority areas in which the Regional Office will strengthen technical support to Member States in the coming two years as they seek to eliminate measles and rubella. Member States commenting after the presentation welcomed WHO/Europe’s increased technical support and reiterated their commitment to the elimination goal. 

Final push

The Package recommends stepped up activities in the following six categories:

  • vaccination and immunization system strengthening
  • surveillance
  • outbreak prevention and response
  • communications, information and advocacy
  • resource mobilization and partnerships
  • verification of measles and rubella elimination.

Along with specific actions to be taken in each category, the document defines target groups and a timeline for expected outputs.