Like other countries in the Eastern Mediterranean region, Morocco is committed to eliminating measles and rubella in order to reduce infant and child mortality. The objective of this study is to evaluate the National Immunization Program reinforced against these two diseases in Morocco.
A retrospective study was carried out on: (1) data from surveillance of rash fevers, and (2) data from vaccination against measles and rubella. The study period is from 2010 to 2017.
Measles incidence was 18, 21 and 26 cases per 1 million population in 2010, 2011 and 2012, respectively. This decreased significantly: 2.8 cases per 1 million inhabitants in 2013 and 0.1 cases per 1 million inhabitants in 2017. The incidence of rubella had decreased between 2010 and 2012, to increase again in 2013. Since the introduction of the 2nd dose of rubella vaccine in 2014, this incidence has varied between 0.03 and 0.1. Of the sixteen regions of the Kingdom, Ten regions exceeded the vaccination coverage of 90% (about 75% of the total population vaccinated (n= 10,191,571)). The prevalence of vaccinees (between measles and rubella) exceeded 91.17% (91.2% in urban areas and 91.1% in rural areas). In 2017, monitoring of the catch-up vaccination status of pupils in the first year of primary school (age 6) was introduced.
To achieve the elimination goal, Morocco should consider vaccinating the entire population, strengthening epidemiological surveillance of eruptive fevers and maintaining vaccination coverage of more than 95%, both regionally and nationally.
Audience take away:
In my opinion this work is a roadmap and a synthesis of the efforts that Morocco has deployed to eliminate measles and rubella and contribute to the reduction of infant mortality in Morocco; this said work provides scientific proof that Morocco is close to the elimination of these two diseases through vaccination and epidemiological and virological surveillance this work allows other researchers to work and design a strategy to fight other diseases of viral origin, in particular other eruptive fevers and to monitor the progress of laboratory capacities for the molecular characterization of circulating strains in Morocco.