The Measles & Rubella Initiative
Launched in 2001, the Measles Initiative is a partnership — led by the American Red Cross, United Nations Foundation, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF and World Health Organization — committed to reducing measles deaths worldwide.
The Measles Initiative founding partners provide technical and financial support to governments and communities conducting mass vaccination campaigns, improving routine immunization services, and establishing effective disease surveillance. To date, the partnership has invested more than US $875 million in measles control activities.
Initially focused on Africa, where the disease burden was highest, the Measles & Rubella Initiative has helped reduce measles related deaths by 85 percent*.
Building on its success, the Measles & Rubella Initiative now supports vaccination campaigns worldwide. More than 1 billion children have received a measles vaccination as a result of the Initiative. Globally, routine immunization has increased from 72percent to 85 percent and measles deaths have decreased by 74 percent*.
In April of 2012, the partners of the Measles Initiative introduced a new global plan to jointly tackle measles and rubella using the same strategy and a combined measles-rubella vaccine. This new strategy is represented in its new name, the Measles & Rubella Initiative. The Initiative’s goal is now to reduce measles deaths worldwide by 95 percent between by 2015 and to eliminate measles and rubella in at least five of six World Health Organization regions by 2020.
*Between 2000 and 2010.