Latest figures show that the level of measles immunization in the developing world is now standing at 79%, almost as high as in the industrialized nations (81%).
During the worldwide effort in the late 1980s to meet the WHO/ UNICEF goal of 80% immunization by 1990, it was widely feared that the momentum could not be sustained and that the 1990s would see a widespread collapse. That has not happened. Sixty-one nations now have measles immunization levels that are at least 10 percentage points higher than in 1988. In 18 nations the rate is up by more than 25 percentage points. Only in 13 nations, many of them affected by war or political turmoil, has the rate fallen by 10 percentage points or more.
Three of the largest and poorest countries in the developing world - Bangladesh, India, and Viet Nam - are among the countries that have increased coverage by over 25 percentage points since 1988.
A total of 44 nations have already reached the year 2000 goal of 90% measles immunization.
Photo: Haiti - still depends on aid for vaccines.©
Countries already reaching the year 2000 goal of 90% measles immunization, 1994
|Korea, Dem.||99||Ukraine||96||Lithuania||93||Russian Fed.||91|
|Czech Rep.||97||Moldova||95||United Kingdom||92||Turkmenistan||90|
|Iran||97||Netherlands||95||Azerbaijan||91||U. Arab Emirates||90|
Countries in which the level of measles immunization has risen by more than 25 percentage points between 1988 and 1994
|% immunized||% pt. rise|
|U. Arab Emirates||58||90||32|
SOURCE WHO and UNICEF, unpublished data.
Countries in which the level of measles immunization has dropped by 10 percentage points or more between 1988 and 1994
|% immunized||% pt. fall|
** Although featured on this list, Haiti's 1994 figure nonetheless represents marked recovery from the low levels of 31% recorded for 1990 and 24% for 1993.