China to verify measles elimination progress

China has started to verify whether the country had eliminated measles by 2012, in accordance with a goal set by the Western Pacific Region of the World Health Organization (WHO), Health News, a newspaper run by the Ministry of Health (MOH), reported Thursday.

A national verification committee for the elimination of measles was established as the executive body. The committee is composed of experts from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, hospitals and bio-medical research institutes.

The committee will compile, verify and submit relevant data to the WHO until regional elimination is declared.

In 2005, all WHO member countries in the Western Pacific Region, including China, set a goal of eliminating measles by 2012.

The MOH planned to keep the incidence rate of measles below 1/1,000,000 by 2012, and no endemic transmission of the virus exists.

China achieved its annual target concerning the measles incidence rate in 2011, and this is ready for verification.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease that mostly affects children. According to the official website of the Western Pacific Region of the WHO, measles remains a leading cause of preventable death and disability among children.

Xinhua