Cambodia introduces second dose of measles vaccine to achieve Measles Elimination in 2012
28 May 2012 - The Ministry of Health in Cambodia today strengthened efforts towards achieving the national and regional goal of measles elimination with the introduction of a new 2nd routine dose of measles vaccine (supported by GAVI) launched at a ceremony in Siem Reap Province attended by national and provincial dignitaries and health partners. The Minister of Health, Dr. Dr. Mam Bunheng, emphasized “This new second measles vaccine dose for all children at 18 months of age will greatly assist Cambodia to reach its national goal of measles elimination by the end of 2012”.
The introduction of the new second measles dose coincides with Ministry of Health efforts to further increase routine immunization coverage, through its new “High Risk Community Strategy” that was developed by the National Immunization Programme with support from the World Health Organization. As noted by the WHO Representative for Cambodia, Dr. Pieter van Maaren, “measles elimination requires greater than 95% immunization coverage with two doses of measles vaccines, and the combination of this new routine second dose and the high risk community strategy will be keys to success for Cambodia to achieve its measles elimination goals, and signaling an end to measles outbreaks that have caused much death and disability in the past”.
Cambodia is on track to achieve measles elimination in 2012. Reported immunization coverage in 2011 with the first measles dose at 9 months of age was 93%. The last measles outbreaks were in 2010/11, and were brought under control through national and sub national measles supplementary immunization activities that targeted 1.8 million children. No confirmed measles cases have been detected since November 2011.