Measles Initiative reception at 60th WHA
During the 60th World Health Assembly that took place in Geneva, a reception was organized by the Measles Initiative partnership to honour countries for the outstanding achievement of the measles mortality reduction goal – 60% reduction in 2005 compared with 1999 level – and to rally support for the new goal – a 90% reduction in measles deaths by 2010.
Opening the event on the evening of 17 May, Mrs Daisy Mafubelu, Assistant Director-General, Family and Community Health, WHO praised the countries, partners and donors that made this achievement possible. Other speakers included Andrew Dunnett, Director of the Vodafone Group Foundation, Andrea Gay, Director of Children's Health Program at the UN Foundation and Pascal Villeneuve, Associate Director for Partnerships at UNICEF. Cameroon's progress in reducing measles mortality was showcased as an example of the impact of implementing the recommended strategies. Various information materials on measles and "Beating measles" t-shirts were distributed at the reception.
Reaching 2010 goal will require strong political commitment both in priority countries and donor governments and continuing support from international partners. Nearly US$ 200 million has been raised so far, but approximately US$ 280 million more is needed to reach this realistic goal.