Thursday, December 06, 2007

African measles' deaths drop 91 pct

South Africa's Daily Mail and Guardian had a piece on the campaign against measles in Africa. The paper reports that since a pan-African measles' vaccination drive was launched in 2000, deaths from measles has plummeted 91 percent.

The chairwoman of the American Red Cross said the real beauty of the Measles Initiative is that its trained volunteers -- some of them riding bicycles, horses and even camels to reach remote areas -- can be pressed into service for a range of actions on basic healthcare.

In 2006, 21-million insecticide-treated bed nets for malaria prevention were distributed and 87-million doses of vitamin A, which helps prevent blindness, were handed out during measles vaccination campaigns. "It's having a tremendous impact on child mortality," said [Bonnie] McElveen-Hunter.

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