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Sunday, May 18, 2003

Each year, more children die from measles than any other childhood vaccine-preventable disease.

In fact in 2000, approximately 777,000 children, most of them under five, died from measles.

A large proportion of these children died because they lived in areas where the vaccine was not administered due to logistical challenges, inadequate health care system, missed opportunities + lack of awareness .

In an effort to turn around this dreadful (and unnecessary) situation UNICEF, The American Red Cross, The UN Foundation, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies + the World Health Organisation have set up The Measles Initiative and made shared long-term commitments to control measles deaths in Africa by vaccinating 200 million children through both mass and follow-up campaigns in up to 36 Sub-Saharan African countries.

By the year 2005,it is estimated that this initiative will have prevented 1.2 million deaths, bringing measles deaths in Africa to near zero.