Viewpoint: Stronger political support, vaccination programs needed to end measles outbreaks worldwide

Ending measles outbreaks worldwide will require strong public health systems and political support, two public health experts wrote in an op-ed published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

The op-ed's authors are Natasha Crowcroft, MD, and Shelly Bolotin, PhD, both professors at the University of Toronto's Dalla Lana School of Public Health in Ontario.

To prevent widespread measles outbreaks, Drs. Crowcroft and Bolotin said public health programs must achieve close to 100 percent vaccination coverage, which can be a difficult task.

"Gaps in immunity will emerge as long as immunization programs are less than perfect," they wrote. "In most countries, however, the quality of information systems, the integration of healthcare systems and the training of healthcare providers are not good enough to meet the challenge of measles prevention over the long term."

Drs. Crowcroft and Bolotin argue more political support is needed to strengthen public health systems, increase vaccination coverage and conduct adequate disease surveillance, all of which will help eliminate measles outbreaks.

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