Measles and Rubella Serology in Madagascar: Estimating Burden and Targets for Vaccination
2015-17 Seed Grant
The exceptionally high case fatality rate associated with measles in children, coupled with the existence of a safe, effective, and inexpensive vaccine has led to measles control being referred to as a best buy in public health. Rubella, while mild in children, can cause birth of a child with an array of congenital issues if contracted by mothers during the first trimester of pregnancy. Again, a safe, effective vaccine is available. Measles elimination is targeted in all WHO regions by 2020; and introduction of rubella containing vaccine is being assessed across Africa. Little is known about the dynamics of measles in Madagascar, and rubella data are almost completely lacking. A survey of the serological status across age for measles and rubella that reflected rural and urban communities would identify targets for vaccination campaigns necessary for successful elimination. Patterns of age serology also allow evaluation of the burden of Congenital Rubella Syndrome, which, in turn, informs the desirability of introduction of rubella-containing vaccine. Since rubella-containing vaccine will be introduced within measles programs, the joint distribution of exposure over age provides the minimum vaccination age range and coverage required for successful elimination of both pathogens.