Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia, at the launch of the national measles-rubella immunisation campaign. Credit: Gavi/2017/Ardiles Rante.
Yogyakarta, 1 August 2017 – The Government of Indonesia launched a national measles-rubella immunisation campaign today targeting all Indonesian children between the ages of nine months and 15 years. The campaign will aim to reach 95% immunisation coverage and thus eliminate measles and rubella in Indonesia by 2020.
"The purpose of the campaign is to control the spread of both diseases and to transition from measles vaccine to a measles-rubella vaccine in Indonesia’s routine immunisation schedule," said Indonesian Minister of Health Dr Nila Moeloek.
Thirty five million children are expected to receive the measles-rubella vaccine during the campaign’s first phase which will be held in the Java region from August to September 2017. It will be conducted in 3,569 public health centres in 119 districts spread across six provinces. The second phase will cover all other regions outside of Java and will be conducted in August-September 2018.
“I congratulate the Government of Indonesia on this landmark campaign”, said Gavi Deputy CEO Anuradha Gupta. “Measles is one of the most contagious diseases known to humanity and claims one life every four minutes - mostly children. Similarly, for millions of mothers and their children across the world, rubella poses a serious and ongoing threat and, if contracted during early pregnancy, can cause defects of the brain, heart, eyes, and ears. Yet for less than a dollar per dose these diseases can be easily prevented with a safe and effective vaccine. This campaign and the subsequent introduction of a combined measles-rubella vaccine in Indonesia’s national immunisation programme will be a game changer in the fight against these infections”, she added.
Dr Vinod Bura of WHO Indonesia and Anuradha Gupta, Gavi Deputy CEO, with students of Madrasah Tsanawiyah 10 Sleman, Central Java. Credit: Gavi/2017/Ardiles Rante.
Gavi is supporting the Government of Indonesia by contributing 50% of the total cost of vaccines. WHO is assisting with the preparation of immunisation activities, particularly in high-risk areas and among vulnerable populations, to ensure all children receive the vaccine.
“The elimination of measles will also contribute to achieving sustainable development goal 3, which aims to end preventable deaths of newborns and children under five years of age by 2030,” said WHO Indonesia Representative Dr Jihane Tawilah.
“We know from experience around the world that the combined measles-rubella vaccine is safe, effective and necessary. When parents immunise their child, they are protecting them from dangerous diseases – they are also protecting other children around them so that all have the opportunity to thrive,” said UNICEF Indonesia Representative Gunilla Olsson.