A Rohingya refugee girl reacts as an health worker administers an MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine at Hakimpara refugee camp in the Bangladeshi district of Ukhia. (Photo by MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Vaccine group Gavi said on Tuesday it would help to innoculate up to 45 million children in countries in Asia and Africa over the next six months.
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, will work with governments and groups including the World Health Organization and UNICEF to target children under five years old, the age group most vulnerable to the disease.
Cases have surged dramatically in recent years, with nearly 360,000 cases recorded globally in 2018 and almost 430,000 cases reported for 2019, according to provisional data.
“The measles vaccine is safe, effective and low-cost –- there is no reason children should still be dying of this disease,” said Seth Berkley, CEO of the London-based alliance.
“While the headlines might focus on rising cases in Europe and the US, it is sadly still the case that the vast majority of measles deaths are happening in the world’s poorest countries.”
The vaccination campaigns will take place in Bangladesh, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nepal, Somalia and South Sudan.