NEW DELHI, India, 1 September 2010 — Measles is among the world’s most contagious diseases and one of the leading causes of death among children worldwide. Even healthy and well nourished children, if unvaccinated, are at risk of the disease and its severe health complications such as pneumonia, diarrhea and encephalitis.
An estimated 400 children die from measles every day. Three out of four children who died from measles in 2008 were in India.
Worldwide, an estimated 4.3 million measles deaths have been prevented in less than a decade by vaccinating nearly 700 million children against measles. The public health benefits of measles vaccination far outweigh the risks of adverse effects.
With appropriate cold-chain management, training and supportive supervision of frontline workers and community awareness-raising, these risks can be kept to a minimum.
UNICEF strongly supports the Government of India’s efforts to increase measles vaccination coverage in the country through routine immunization and measles campaigns.
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