Africa: The Regional Commission for the Verification of Measles Elimination Reviewed the Progress From Five Countries

press release

The WHO African Regional Commission for the Verification of Measles Elimination (RVC) held its second meeting in Addis Abba, Ethiopia from 21-23 May 2019. The meeting was aimed to review country progress reports and quality of documentation of evidence from five countries.

The regional Immunization Vaccine Development (IVD) program established verification mechanisms for measles elimination in the Region and at country level by establishing an African regional verification committee (RVC) and supporting countries to establish national verification committees (NVCs) at country level.

As part of the verification process, each country is expected to prepare adequate documentation on the progress towards measles elimination, based on the standardized collection and analysis of essential programmatic data. In line with this, five countries including Seychelles, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Ghana documented their progress and presented their report to the RVC.

In addition, the meeting was attended by colleagues from the Ministry of Health Ethiopia, and technical experts from WHO and UNICEF country office, as well as the program persons involved in measles elimination in WHO AFRO and the three inter-country support teams (ISTs) for South-Eastern, Central and Western Africa.

The meeting started with presentations on the Global and African regional progress towards measles and rubella elimination, and the progress with the establishment of national verification committees in the African Region.

"Ethiopia, like other Member States, has been implementing the elimination strategies since 2002, and has witnessed a significant decline in the burden of measles in the last 2 decades." said Dr. Aggrey Bategereza, Officer in Charge (OIC) for WHO Ethiopia". Dr Aggrey added that "WHO is ready to support the MOH Ethiopia in the establishment of structures and institutionalising the processes related to the documentation of progress and eventual verification of measles elimination in the country."

H.E. Dr Lisanu Taddesse, Head of the office of the State Minister of Health said in his opening remarks that "The Federal Ministry of Health continues its commitment in improving immunization service and is making efforts towards the elimination of measles. In line with the commitment for elimination of measles, Ethiopia introduced MCV2 vaccine in February 2019. " Dr Lisanu added that "The Federal Ministry of Health will continue to support the measles elimination effort by strengthening the initiative including the establishment of a national verification committee."

The overall objectives of the establishment of national verification committees is to strengthen the programmatic documentation required for eventual verification of measles elimination on a country-by-country basis; assist national immunisation programs with the advocacy required to strengthen country ownership and focused implementation of strategies; provide programmatic guidance to countries as they strive towards measles elimination, and ensure independent verification of measles elimination in countries that are near to the elimination objectives.

For Further information please contact:

Dr Balcha Girma, WHO AFRO, Email: masreshab [at] who.int

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