Our Global Voices Posts
Vaccines fight diseases and save lives. Think of achievements like smallpox eradication, a polio-free world close at hand, and 2-3 million deaths prevented each year through routine immunizations. Yet despite a safe and effective vaccine against measles and rubella, these deadly viruses continue to steal the health and lives of children all over the world.
The highly contagious measles virus kills nearly 250 children each day, making it one of the leading causes of death in those under the age of 5. And rubella brings its own set of risks to health and life. Although most often a mild virus, if rubella infects a pregnant mother in her first trimester and the baby survives, she has a 90% chance of delivering a child with life-threatening birth defects referred to as congenital rubella syndrome (CRS). Each year, more than 100,000 babies begin life suffering from CRS.
Measles and rubella occur most often in the six countries with the fewest number of children vaccinated and protected against measles/rubella—India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Indonesia, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo account for 75% of measles deaths and about 50% of CRS births globally.
However, not only CAN we eliminate measles and rubella, but we have done so—ridding 68 countries of measles and 59 countries of rubella—all with a $2 vaccine!
The Measles & Rubella Initiative—a global partnership—coordinates efforts to achieve a world without measles, rubella, and CRS. The Initiative not only strives to eliminate measles and rubella worldwide, but also to better protect the public from other health threats. Together with national governments, we’re working to strengthen health systems, provide other health-promoting and life-saving interventions, and build strong surveillance and outbreak response systems.
Just imagine a world free of measles and rubella—what an amazing gift to leave future generations!Posted on by
Rabies is a fatal disease that kills an estimated 59,000 people each year, almost half of whom are children. The majority of deaths occur in Africa and Asia. All of these deaths are vaccine-preventable with timely administration of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), the shots needed to prevent rabies from developing in bite victims. So why is Read More >Posted on by
Participants to the Rapid Response Team Management workshop, Dakar, Senegal, August 7-11 The 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic clearly demonstrated the need for trained scientists who can deploy quickly to confront health threats and ensure global health security. While we often think about the emergency response itself, we typically don’t think about the work that happens behind Read More >Posted on by
We weren’t sure what to expect when the Rwanda Biomedical Center requested a training for their noncommunicable disease (NCD) program managers. We had never delivered this particular curriculum before, but after three months of preparation, our journey from Atlanta began. After landing in the capital Kigali, we faced a bumpy three-hour drive into the mountains Read More >Posted on by
Global health emergencies are a constant in today’s world. In recent years, we have seen the impact of natural disasters, mass migrations, famines, conflicts, and more. When there are large population movements, we see rapid spread of infectious disease. When there is famine, those affected have a compromised immune system, allowing them to contract illnesses easier. For these reasons it is vital that public health staff from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is on the scene. Read More >Posted on by
Are Ebola response investments making an impact? CDC Epidemiologist reflects on West Africa then and now
The first time I deployed to West Africa was in September 2014, at the height of the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone. I have witnessed many disease outbreaks in my public health career, but this one was more devastating than I could ever have imagined. It eventually took more than 11,000 lives. What was happening Read More >Posted on by
Vaccination remains the most cost-effective strategy to get on track with hepatitis B elimination in resource-limited settings
Midwife providing the 5-in-1 pentavalent vaccine (diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis [DTP], hepatitis B, and Haemophilus influenzae type b) during a routine vaccination session in Myanmar In the 1990s, the Western Pacific Region had one of the highest prevalence rates of chronic hepatitis B infection in the world (>8%). As a result, in 2005, it was the first World Read More >Posted on by
At 4:00 PM on July 12, 2016, I received an urgent email from the CDC Malawi office asking if I had any information on a typhoid outbreak in Malosa in southern Malawi. The U.S. Embassy in Malawi was planning a visit to Malosa by the Second Lady of the United States, and they had received reports of an unusually high number of typhoid cases there. Fortunately for me, one of our trainees from the Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) had presented on the same outbreak earlier that day during the FETP graduation ceremony. Read More >Posted on by
The end of polio is in sight, with fewer cases of wild polio virus being reported yearly. Today, polio is on the cusp of eradication, with cases in only a few high-risk areas of three countries—Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan. This brings the eradication effort to its final chapter, otherwise known as the polio endgame. The Read More >Posted on by
This blog was originally published on Global Health Council’s The Collective Voice on June 16, 2017. Opinion polls show that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is one of the federal government’s most admired and trusted agencies. Since its founding in 1946, CDC’s history as America’s premier public health agency has been tightly intertwined Read More >Posted on by