UN misses measles target with India the big laggard: Study

Paris: UN countries have failed to meet a target for reducing the death toll from measles, mainly due to poor vaccine coverage in India and outbreaks in southern Africa, The Lancet reported today.

In 2008, all members of the UN`s World Health Organisation (WHO) endorsed a target of reducing measles mortality by 90 per cent by 2010 compared to levels in 2000.

In 2010, global deaths were 139,300, 74 per cent less than the tally of 535,300 in 2000.

India accounted for 47 per cent of measles deaths in 2010 and African countries for 36 per cent, according to the study, led by Peter Strebel of the WHO`s Department of Immunisation, Vaccines and Biologicals.

It said it expected a substantial fall in measles mortality in India by 2015 under a 2011- 2013 plan to immunise 134 million children.