Kyrgyzstan back on track to prevent measles and rubella outbreaks

WHO

Kyrgyzstan Minister of Health, Professor Talantbek Batyraliev, personally opened the second round of the national measles immunization campaign in March 2015.

After a successful second round in a nationwide immunization campaign in Kyrgyzstan, 96% of the 2 045 513 children and young adults aged 1–20 across the county have now been vaccinated against measles and rubella. The campaign also targeted staff of health care organizations, kindergartens, primary schools and higher and secondary educational institutions and was part of a national plan for the elimination of measles and rubella.

Throughout the planning and implementation phases of the campaign that was conducted in two rounds from March to May 2015, WHO/Europe and partners (United Nations Children's Fund and Medicins sans Frontieres) contributed technical expertise to help Kyrgyzstan authorities plan, coordinate and monitor the campaign, mobilize resources and train health workers.

On 3 June 2015, Minister of Health Professor Talantbek Batyraliev announced the successful completion of the campaign in a press conference, in which he acknowledged the support provided by WHO and other partners, and also stressed the important role played by well-integrated public health care facilities in combatting the recent large-scale measles outbreak in the country. With over 7000 confirmed cases in 2014 and 2015, the outbreak exposed widespread immunity gaps in the population, highlighting the urgent need to increase vaccination coverage through both enhanced routine and supplementary immunization activities.