Measles & Tetanus Elimination


Measles pre-elimination

Measles is a highly infectious viral disease caused by a Morbillivirus. It only affects humans and rapidly spreads among individuals who have not been vaccinated. Measles is a leading cause of vaccine-preventable deaths among children. In 2006, an estimated 242,000 people died of measles; about 217,000 of these deaths were among children under 5 years of age. About 1-5% of children with measles die from complications of the disease. In refugee settings, the death rate from measles may be as high as 30%.

Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus elimination

Claiming thousands of lives every year, maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) is a devastating disease caused by toxins released from Clostridium tetani bacteria. With no cure, MNT is responsible for an average 110,000 deaths a year in the African Region. Once contracted, the newborn usually dies within seven days. However, MNT is entirely preventable through appropriate immunization of women of child bearing age, and through simple and basic precautionary measures in child delivery. Transmission occurs when there is contact between the bacteria and broken skin or dead tissues, such as the wound resulting when an infant's umbilical cord is cut. Poor hygienic conditions, lack of access to sterilized childbirth delivery tools, unhygienic practices, and limited access to health services amplify the risk for MNT during childbirth.