Targeted Measles Immunization Program Could Sharply Cut Child Mortality
Agence France Presse;
According to a recent study in the June issue of Population and Development Review, vaccinating children in poor countries against measles can reduce their mortality rate by 50 percent. The study found that children from poor families in developing countries who did not receive vaccinations against measles were three times more likely to die before the age of five than unvaccinated children of the same age from wealthier backgrounds. The author of the study, Michael Koenig, an associate professor of population and health sciences at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, says that in many countries vaccine coverage is as low as 50 percent, and that the majority of the unvaccinated children are from the most vulnerable economic and social groups. According to the World Health Organization, measles accounts for one-tenth of all deaths among children under the age of five.