Progress Toward Measles Elimination - Western Pacific Region, 2013-2017.
In 2005, the Regional Committee for the World Health Organization (WHO) Western Pacific Region (WPR)* established a goal for measles elimination(dagger) by 2012 (1). To achieve this goal, the 37 WPR countries and areas implemented the recommended strategies in the WPR Plan of Action for Measles Elimination (2) and the Field Guidelines for Measles Elimination (3). The strategies include 1) achieving and maintaining >/=95% coverage with 2 doses of measles-containing vaccine (MCV) through routine immunization services and supplementary immunization activities (SIAs), when required; 2) conducting high-quality case-based measles surveillance, including timely and accurate testing of specimens to confirm or discard suspected cases and detect measles virus for genotyping and molecular analysis; and 3) establishing and maintaining measles outbreak preparedness to ensure rapid response and appropriate case management. This report updates the previous report (4) and describes progress toward measles elimination in WPR during 2013-2017. During 2013-2016, estimated regional coverage with the first MCV dose (MCV1) decreased from 97% to 96%, and coverage with the routine second MCV dose (MCV2) increased from 91% to 93%. Eighteen (50%) countries achieved >/=95% MCV1 coverage in 2016. Seven (39%) of 18 nationwide SIAs during 2013-2017 reported achieving >/=95% administrative coverage. After a record low of 5.9 cases per million population in 2012, measles incidence increased during 2013-2016 to a high of 68.9 in 2014, because of outbreaks in the Philippines and Vietnam, as well as increased incidence in China, and then declined to 5.2 in 2017. To achieve measles elimination in WPR, additional measures are needed to strengthen immunization programs to achieve high population immunity, maintain high-quality surveillance for rapid case detection and confirmation, and ensure outbreak preparedness and prompt response to contain outbreaks.