Media advisory

Measles Initiative to announce major achievement in public health

Global goal to reduce measles deaths surpassed

The Measles Initiative partners -- the American Red Cross, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United Nations Foundation, UNICEF and the World Health Organization -- will announce a historic victory for global health during a teleconference on Thursday, 18 January, 2007 at 9:30 a.m. EST, 3:30 p.m. CET.  Speakers on the call will present new data about the reduction of measles deaths worldwide since 1999 and will explain how the partnership was able to not only help meet the goal, but surpass it.   The Initiative demonstrates the power of partnerships and serves as a model for how to address the world’s toughest health challenges.  Partners will also discuss the future goal and challenges for further reducing measles deaths globally.  The new data announced on the call will also be included in a Lancet article running on 19 January, 2007. 

A press teleconference to announce new measles mortality numbers, the success of the Measles Initiative, and the future goal and challenges of reducing measles deaths worldwide.  There will be time for questions and answers with each of the speakers.

Kathy Bushkin, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, United Nations Foundation

  • Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization
  • Dr. Julie L. Gerberding, M.D., M.P.H., Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, Chairman, American Red Cross
  • Ann M. Veneman, Executive Director, UNICEF

Thursday, 18 January, 2007
9:30 a.m. EST, 3:30 p.m. CET

For further information, please contact:
Jessie Malter, Press Officer, UNICEF NY: Tel + 1 212-326-7412, email jmalter@unicef.org

The Measles Initiative, launched in 2001, is a partnership committed to reducing measles deaths globally.  During its first five years (2001-2005), the Initiative was the main international supporter of mass measles immunization campaigns globally that led to the vaccination of more than 360 million children, predominantly in Africa.  Building on its success in Africa, the Initiative has expanded into Asia. The measles campaigns the Initiative supports increasingly provide additional life-saving health interventions in its campaigns, including Vitamin A, de-worming medicine and insecticide-treated bed nets for malaria prevention. The Measles Initiative has mobilized US $308 million through 2006 to support campaigns in more than 43 countries in Africa and Asia.  Leading the Measles Initiative efforts are the American Red Cross, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United Nations Foundation, UNICEF and the World Health Organization. To learn more, visit www.measlesinitiative.org