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REVIEWS OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES. 1983 May-Jun; 5(3):452-9.This summary of the worldwide impact of measles discusses epidemiology, reported incidence, clinical severity, community attitudes toward measles, and the impact of immunization programs on measles. Measles, 1 of the most ubiquitous and persistent of human viruses, occurs regularly everywhere in the world except in very remote and isolated areas. Strains of measles virus from different counties are indistinguishable, and serum antibodies from diverse population have identical specificity. Yet, the epidemic pattern, average age at infection, and mortality vary considerably from 1 area to another and provide a contrasting picture between the developing and the developed countries. In the populous areas of the world, measles causes epidemics every 2-5 years, but in the rapidly expanding urban conglomerations in the developing world, the continuous immigration from the rural population provides a constant influx of susceptible individuals and, in turn, a sustained occurrence of measles and unclear epidemic curves. In the economically advanced nations, measles epidemics are closely tied to the school year, building up to a peak in the late spring and ceasing abruptly after the summer recess begins. Maternal antibody usually confers protection against measles to infants during the 1st few months of life. The total number of cases of measles reported to WHO for 1980 is 2.9 million. Considering that in the developing world alone almost 100 million infants are born yearly, that less than 20% of them are immunized against measles, and that various studies indicate that almost all nonimmunized children get measles, less than 3 million cases of measles in 1980 is a gross underestimate. There was adecrease in the global number of reported cases of measles during the 1979-80 period due primarily to the reduction in the number of cases in the African continent and, to a lesser extent, in Europe. It is premature to conclude that such a reported decline is real and that it reflects the beginning of a longterm trend. The contrast between the developed and the developing worlds is most marked in relation to the severity and outcome of measles. Case fatality rates of more than 20% have been reported from West Africa. It has been estimated that 900,000 deaths occur yearly in the developing world because of measles, but data available to WHO indicate that the global case fatality rate in the developing world approaches 2% (in contrast to 2/10,000 cases in the US), and the actal mortality may be greater than 1.5 million deaths per year. The advent of WHO's Expanded Program on Immunization has brought about an awareness of the measles problem. Whenever and wherever measles vaccine has been used effectively on a large scale, a marked reduction in the number of cases has been recorded.
New York, New York, UNFPA, 1984 May. xii, 156 p. (Report No. 67)A Needs Assessment and Program Development Mission visited the People's Republic of China from March 7 to April 16, 1983 to: review and analyze the country's population situation within the context of national population goals as well as population related development objectives, strategies, and programs; make recommendations on the future orientation and scope of national objectives and programs for strengthening or establishing new objectives, strategies, and programs; and make recommendations on program areas in need of external assistance within the framework of the recommended national population program and for geographical areas. This report summarizes the needs and recommendations in regard to: population policies and policy-related research; demographic research and training; basic population data collection and analysis; maternal and child health and family planning services; management training support for family planning services; logistics of contraceptive supply; management information system; family planning communication and education; family planning program research and evaluation; contraceptive production; research in human reproduction and contraceptives; population education and dissemination of population information; and special groups and multisectoral activities. The report also presents information on the national setting (geographical and cultural features, government and administration, the economy, and the evolution of socioeconomic development planning) and demographic features (population size, characteristics, and distribution, nationwide and demographic characteristics in geographical core areas). Based on its assessment of needs, the Mission identified mjaor priorities for assistance in the population field. Because of China's size and vast needs, external assistance for population programs would be diluted if provided to all provincial and lower administrative levels. Thus, the Mission suggests that a substantial portion of available resources be concentrated in 3 provinces as core areas: Sichuan, the most populous province (100,220,000 people by the end of 1982); Guandong, the province with the highest birthrate (25/1000); and Jiangsu, the most densely populated province (608 persons/square kilometer. In all the government has identified 11 provinces needing special attention in the next few years: Anhui, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jilin, Shaanxi and Shandong, in addition to Guangdong, Jiangsu, and Sichuan.