Meeting of the chief state sanitary physicians of CIS Member States

18.11.2015 г.

November 18, Moscow – Head of the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (Rospotrebnadzor) Dr. Anna Popova took part in a meeting of the chief state sanitary physicians of the CIS countries. At the meeting participants discussed the main aspects of the program of measles and rubella elimination in the CIS region.

The event was also attended by Sergey Kraevoy, Deputy Minister of Health of the Russian Federation, Dr. Dragan Jankovic, representative of the WHO Regional Office for Europe, Zhandarbek Bekshin, Chief State Sanitary Physician of Kazakhstan, Oleg Gorin, Chief State Sanitary Physician of Kyrgyzstan, Navruz Jafarov, Chief State Sanitary Physician of the Tadjikistan as well as representatives of Belarus, Turkmenistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan.

The meeting was organized by Rospotrebnadzor.

Such meetings are held regularly in order to promote cooperation between the CIS Member States in communicable diseases monitoring.

According to Dr. Anna Popova, measles is still not completely under control; more than 20 million cases of the disease are registered annually. It is especially prevalent in developing countries where immunization coverage is low or non-existent (the required immunization coverage is 95% nationally).

In 2015, the major outbreak was registered on the African continent: in the Republic of Congo there were about 30 thousand reported cases; outbreak caused an estimated 428 deaths.

In the European region the high incidence of measles is reported in Ukraine, Georgia, Bosnia, Germany, Italy and other countries.

In the CIS countries the measles incidence is not very low due to the insufficient immunization coverage and frequent importation of the virus.

In Russia, the incidence of measles has fallen by more than 300 times since the beginning of vaccination (before 1968, there were an average 1000 cases per 100,000 population, in 2014 – 3.2 cases per 100,000 population).

It is worth noting that in 2010 the immunization coverage in Russia was more than 95%, an effective system of epidemiological surveillance was established and the epidemiological process began to move to the elimination stage. The Russian Federation was certified as a territory free from measles (except for the five regions). But in 2011, measles outbreaks were reported in 20 regions that were caused among other things by the virus importation from other countries. It is therefore important to establish an effective cooperation between the countries of the region in the sphere of communicable diseases monitoring and response.

In 2014-2015, Rospotrebnadzor organized the purchase and supply of equipment for the laboratory network in the CIS region. Several training activities for virologists from the CIS countries were conducted. Moreover, cooperation in the prompt notification on disease outbreaks was established between the sanitary authorities of the CIS countries.

Despite the slight rise of the epidemic in the last couple of years, a significant progress in the implementation of Measles and Rubella Strategic Plan for WHO European Region had been achieved in the countries of WHO European region, including the Russian Federation, by 2010. This became possible due to the use of the measles vaccine during the past 50 years. Nevertheless, a large percentage of the adult population affected by the infection indicates the need to increase the vaccination age to 55 years. This was proposed by Rospotrebnadzor and is now being considered by the Russian Ministry of Health.

The incidence of rubella is very low. Over the past 5 years, less than 1 case per 100 thousand population was reported.

According to the WHO Global Measles and Rubella Strategic Plan 2012-2020 it is planned to eliminate measles and rubella in at least 5 WHO regions by the end of 2020.

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