Oman is hosting medical experts from 22 countries for a three-day conference, 'The 30th inter-country meeting of National Managers of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation and the 17th Intercountry Meeting on measles/rubella control and elimination.
The conference is organised by the World Health Organization (WHO) regional office for the Eastern Mediterranean at the Intercontinental Hotel on Sunday.
According to the Ministry of Health (MOH), measles is a highly contagious viral disease, which affects mostly children. Globally it remains one of the leading causes of death among young children under the age of five. Outbreaks of Measles in Europe, America, Asia and Africa are noticed in 2017.
Oman has very few cases of Measles since 1995. However, in 2016 national Communicable diseases surveillance noted the increase number of measles cases, a total of 114 cases, despite near 100 per cent coverage of target population with Measles Vaccine (MMR). The clusters of measles in 2016 resulted probably due to importation related source of infection. In addition, 89 cases have been reported up to August 2017 from different governorate.
A campaign by Oman’s National Measles Immunisation Campaign ended this year with 92 per cent of residents in the target group vaccinated.
The Ministry of Health said that 98 per cent of Omani nationals and 88 per cent of expatriates were vaccinated. The target group for vaccination was residents between the ages of 20 and 35, according to the ministry.
Oman launched the first phase of the National Measles Immunisation campaign in May and coveredthe southern provinces in Oman, including Dhofar and Wusta regions.
The second phase was launched in September and covered the northern regions in the country, including Muscat, Dhaklyah, Batinah, Dahira, Sharqiyah and Buraimi governorates.