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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 16-21

Effectiveness of a nationwide measles vaccination campaign in Libya, 2005: Retrospective study

1 Department of Public Health, Medical Technology College, Elmergib University, Al Khoms, Libya
2 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, The University of Arizona, Arizona, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Salem I M. Alkoshi
P O Box 504, Zliten City
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/LJMS.LJMS_45_17

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Background: Measles is a highly contagious virus. An effective vaccine has been widely administered for over three decades, but the measles burden is still high, causing 134,200 deaths globally in 2014. In Libya, a national mass measles vaccination campaign took place in 2005 targeting all residents of Libya age 9 months to 20 years between February 2005 5, and March 1, 2005. To date, no evaluation of its effectiveness has been conducted. Materials and Methods: Measles surveillance data were obtained for a 6 years' period (2002–2007) spanning the 3 years before and the 3 years following the mass vaccination campaign. The incidence of measles cases was calculated pre- and postvaccination campaigns and relative change in incidence was determined. Results: During the campaign 2,431,167 people age 9 months–20 years were vaccinated, resulting in a coverage rate of 98.4% in that age range. Comparing incidence of measles cases pre-and postvaccination campaign demonstrates an effectiveness of 96%, P = 0.021. Seasonality of measles cases was identified with a peak in April and May. Effectiveness varied by the age group, ranging from 82% in people lower than 5 years of age. Conclusion: A significant reduction was demonstrated following a national immunization campaign. Supplementary immunization campaigns should be initiated to keep the Libyan measles rate low; allowing the country to move into an elimination period.

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