Online Custom «Vaccination of Measles» Essay Sample

Vaccination of Measles

Background Information

Measles and rubella are, so far, the major causes of both child disability and mortality, which could be prevented by the use of vaccination. Their elimination started with the Americas, and some other regions have also succeeded in their efforts to eliminate these infections. In this research paper, emphasis has been given to reviewing of global and regional progress of the measles control and elimination strategies, examining recent epidemiology of measles infections, and discussing challenges encountered in the accomplishment of these goals. Across the globe, measles vaccination has been estimated to prevent approximately 2 million deaths annually (Shendurnikar, 2006). Notwithstanding this remarkable advancement, there have been the occurrences of large measles outbreaks, mostly involving older individuals who never received measles vaccination in their early toddler lives. The identified challenges to accomplishing and sustaining high measles vaccination coverage entail weak health systems, civil conflicts, economic, cultural, and geographic barriers to attaining proximate population groups, as well as inadequate continual monitoring and usage of data for action. Observation by White & Koplan (2009) suggests that nations and regions targeting to eliminate and control measles must urgently embrace monitoring and implementation of both mass and routine vaccination campaign strategies.

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History of Measles

Measles is a disease caused by a paramyxovirus, which is known to spread via airborne droplets. Its incubation period ranges from 6 to 19 days. Measles is normally prevented through application of vaccination with measles vaccine. Health records affirm that by 2008, fruitful vaccination campaigns globally had succeeded in lessening measles deaths by approximately 70 %. It was a significant drop from 750,000 deaths witnessed in the year 2000 (Featherstone et al., 2011). According to the estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2008, close to 80% of the world’s children were receiving one dose of measles vaccine while approaching their first birthday (White & Koplan, 2009).

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Routes of transmission

− Respiratory droplets, direct contact and airborne; humans are the only reservoir,

− Infected monkeys do not sustain transmission within their body systems.

 Incubation period

− 9-20 days to fever; 14 days to rash.

Infectious period

− from 6 days before rash to 5 days after rash.

The Rationale for the Measles strategy

Observation of measles, which refers to the efforts of examining cases of measles in a given community, should be conducted first at the community level as a way of conveying early warning of any possible epidemics. The key to a successful measles health program is to create awareness among the parents to know that a child suffering from measles should be kept in isolation from the rest of children who are yet to contract measles or have already been vaccinated. It is a bold move of ensuring that measles does not spread; and everyone in respective homesteads should undertake it. The program of eliminating measles requires any health worker to consistently report any measles cases happening in his/her community to the District Health Officer. Further, this officer has the mandate of vaccinating all 9-month old children against measles. Evidence given by Bornbe (2014) asserts that, so far, immunization is the best weapon against measles. This argument is supported by the fact that 99.2 % of people already immunized tend to develop immunity after a two-dose vaccine (Bornbe, 2014).

WHO’s Measles Goals for the 21st Century

  • Eradication of Measles

- Stop global transmission of measles

  • Measles Elimination

- Stop indigenous transmission of measles across heavily suspected regions

  • Measles Control

- Reduce measles incidence (meaning the number of cases)

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- Reduce measles mortality across all regional boundaries

Implementation of the Strategy: Measles Initiative Plan

Implementation of health strategy and campaign against measles can offer protection and improvement in the innocent lives of children and mothers globally. The Measles Initiative Plan must be built on the successes and experience of many years of accelerated measles control efforts that saw the 70 % reduction in measles deaths worldwide between 2009-2011 (Shendurnikar, 2006). The strategy is directed towards integrating the newest 2011 WHO policy on measles vaccination that gives recommendation of communicating measles planning efforts and control strategies. It follows the establishment of shared observation and extensive usage of measles and rubella combined vaccine (MR) and combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR). The plan presents vivid strategies adopted by national immunization managers. These managers work together with international and domestic partners to incorporate a definite blueprint to accomplish the 2016 and 2020 Measles and Rubella Control and Elimination objectives. The key pillars of the strategy entail implementation of five critical elements, according to Arias (2011), which are:

  1. Accomplish and maintain high levels of herd immunity through provision of best vaccination coverage with a two-dose of rubella and measles containing vaccines.
  2. Monitoring of diseases using effectual observation, as well as evaluation of programmatic efforts meant to ensure advancement.
  3. Developing and maintaining of outbreak preparedness, responding quickly to outbreaks, and managing cases.
  4. Communicating and engaging in building of public confidence as well as demand for immunization.
  5. Performing the needed research and development meant to back up cost-effective operations whilst improving diagnostic tools and general vaccination.

Further, the Global Measles and Rubella Strategic Plan 2012-2020 strives to present a prolonged strategy meant to enable the attainment of measles CSR regional, national and international goals and targets. It incorporates:

  • Monitoring of disease by the use of effective observation and evaluation of programmatic efforts that can produce sustainable progress;
  • Carrying out of the research and development needed to offer support to cost-effective operations and further boosting of diagnostic and vaccination tools;
  • Communicating and participating in building of public confidence and demand for sustainable immunization;
  • Accomplishment and maintenance of high levels of herd immunity through provision of high vaccination coverage with key measles dosages.

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