THE MEASLES & RUBELLA INITIATIVE
The Measles & Rubella Initiative (M&RI) is a global partnership committed to ensuring no child dies from measles or is born with congenital rubella syndrome. It's led by the American Red Cross, the United Nations Foundation, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF and the World Health Organization.
The M&RI aims to reach the measles and rubella elimination goals of the Global Vaccine Action Plan by supporting countries to raise coverage of measles, rubella and other vaccines; fund, plan, implement and monitor quality supplementary campaigns; investigate outbreaks and provide technical and financial support for effective outbreak response, propose and participate in solutions to strengthen immunization delivery; and support a global laboratory network for measles and rubella.
Since 2001, the Initiative has supported 80 countries to deliver more than 1.1 billion doses of measles vaccine, helped to raise measles vaccination coverage to 84% globally, and reduced measles deaths by 71%. These efforts have contributed significantly to reducing child mortality as per Millennium Development Goal 4.
Thirty-two countries held measles campaigns in 2012, reaching roughly 105 million children, and 32 countries are planning to hold them in 2013, targeting over 303 million children. Of these, 19 will be supported by the Measles & Rubella Initiative and 10 by the GAVI Alliance.
The Measles & Rubella Initiative 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 in more than 80 countries.
Initially targeting Sub-Saharan Africa, the Measles Initiative has helped reduce deaths by 85 percent* across the region. Building on its success, the Measles & Rubella Initiative now supports vaccination campaigns worldwide.
Beginning in April 2012, the Initiative announced a new strategy to jointly tackle measles and rubella, represented in its new name, the Measles & Rubella Initiative. The Initiative is focused on supporting the goal of reducing global measles mortality by 95 percent by 2015; and eliminating measles and rubella in at least five of the six World Health Organization Regions by 2020.
*Between 2000 and 2010.