Measles and rubella elimination: protecting children through immunization in South-East Asia Region (SEAR)

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



The Lancet regional health. Southeast Asia






Elimination; Measles; Rubella; Vaccination; Vaccine preventable diseases


The South-East Asia Region (SEAR) adopted the goal of "measles and rubella elimination by 2023". The goal was revised in 2019 to 'measles and rubella elimination by 2023' The strategies adopted to reach the goal included achieving ≥95% coverage with 2 doses of measles- and rubella-containing vaccine (MCV2; RCV2); establishing effective case-based surveillance supported by an accredited laboratory network; and implementing rapid response measures to control measles outbreaks. Of the 11 countries in the Region, to date five countries have eliminated measles and rubella and two more have controlled rubella. An estimated 242 million cases and 4.7 million deaths due to measles were averted between 2014 and 2022. The high-level political commitment, programmatic infrastructure and partnerships developed for the elimination of polio and maternal and neonatal tetanus played a critical role in this achievement. WHO, supported by key partners, provided technical support and strategic guidance for programmatic improvements, generated evidence to guide policy and strategic shifts, strengthened capacity of health workforce and conducted periodic programmatic reviews. However, unexpected occurrence of COVID-19 pandemic impacted vaccine coverage and quality of surveillance, thereby delaying achievement of the goal, and necessitating a revision of the target date of elimination.


Global Health