Measles cases in India have dropped significantly by a whopping 43 per cent between 2015 and 2016 for the first time and are expected to dramatically fall this year too as India builds on its polio eradication campaign experience to eliminate measles by 2020, latest data released by the World Health Organisation(WHO) shows.
India reported 17,250 measles cases in 2016, down from 30,168 in 2015. By 2018, India plans to reach 40 crore children with the measles vaccine, which is expected to considerably reduce the disease burden and help India meet its 2020 elimination target.
However, currently the country, continues to fall behind others, accounting for over 60 per cent of the total measles cases in the WHO South East Asia region (SEAR). India also accounts for a significant number of deaths from measles. Of the 1,34,200 measles death globally in 2016, the WHO South East Asia Region, comprising of 11 countries, accounted for around 54,500 deaths. Of this, around 49,200 occurred in India–nearly 36 per cent of the global deaths from measles and rubella.