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Acclaimed illustrator Sophie Blackall joins the fight to abolish measles

By Chris Niles

NEW YORK, United States of America, 19 October 2012 - Acclaimed illustrator Sophie Blackall has designed a series of posters for the Measles and Rubella Initiative.

Illustrator Sophie Blackall talks about her work to support the Measles and Rubella Initiative.  Watch in RealPlayer


The posters are part of a worldwide campaign that aims to reduce measles deaths by 95 per cent by 2015. They are based on a trip Ms. Blackall recently took to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Entirely preventable

Measles is entirely preventable. It costs about US$1 to vaccinate a child. Yet, worldwide, about 380 children die every day from measles-related complications.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ms. Blackall says, “[w]e met dozens of families who have been affected by measles and who’d lost children. Even one chief of a village – his daughter had died just a few days before we went to meet with him, and that really brought it home dramatically.”

© 2012/Blackall
Illustrator Sophie Blackall travelled to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to gain inspiration for a series of posters she drew to support the Measles and Rubella Initiative. Ms. Blackall met families whose lives had been touched by the disease, which is still epidemic in the country.

Ms. Blackall says she hopes her posters, which illustrate the many steps of the vaccination process, will help people engage in the campaign to abolish the disease.

“It feels like an opportunity to tell a story which will make a lot of people see the possibilities for themselves in that story, whether it’s through helping in some way or whether it’s through getting their own children immunized,” she says.

Towards continuing progress

The Measles and Rubella Initiative has made tremendous progress in reducing measles deaths. Globally, the number of deaths dropped by 74 per cent between 2000 and 2010. The campaign has vaccinated more than one billion children in 80 countries.

Ms. Blackall says she hopes her work will help the partners in the Measles and Rubella Initiative to achieve their goal.

“I hope that these posters will help raise the funds they need to carry on the immunization of children all over the world and to help specifically in the Congo, where measles continues to be an epidemic,” she says.



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