Newswise — MCLEAN, Va. (July 2017) - Despite goals in every World Health Organization (WHO) region to eliminate measles by 2020, measles and rubella continue to cause relatively high levels of morbidity and mortality. The Americas became certified as the first WHO region to eliminate indigenous transmission of rubella in 2015 and measles in 2016.  However, in other regions some countries are falling behind in achieving the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) goals for regional elimination of measles and rubella.

Today, Risk Analysis, an International Journal, published Part 2 of a special issue focused on modeling global measles and rubella health and financial costs (following the publication of Part I in July 2016).  The special issue outlines the tools used by the WHO and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to assess performance of measles control activities, evaluate progress toward regional measles elimination, and identify high risk areas to better allocate available resources to meet national and regional elimination goals.  One article describes the development of a risk assessment tool used by the WHO regions for measles, and five of the articles present applications of the tool for India, Namibia, the Philippines, Romania, and Senegal -- one country in each of the WHO regions yet to eliminate measles.

The final article integrates many of the components developed in Part I into a dynamic transmission model for measles and rubella that characterizes the significant costs of delays associated with continuing control instead of pursuing eradication. The results of this article suggest that global measles and rubella eradication appear to offer a better health and financial option than the current path of control. 

This special issue, along with Part I, offers support for prioritizing investments in regional measles and rubella elimination efforts.  The results of this work underscores the importance of a global commitment to measles and rubella eradication. The work presented in the special issue should support efforts to develop eradication investment cases for measles and rubella.

Articles included in this special issue:

  • “Development of a district-level programmatic assessment tool for risk of measles virus transmission” by Eugene Lam, W. William Schluter, Balcha G. Masresha, Nadia Teleb, Pamela Bravo-Alcantara, Abigail Shefer, Dragan Jankovic, Jeffrey McFarland, Eltayeb Elfakki, Yoshihiro Takashima, Robert T. Perry, Alya J. Dabbagh, Kaushik Banerjee, Peter M. Strebel and James L. Goodson.
  • “The World Health Organization measles programmatic risk assessment tool - pilot testing in India, 2014” by Kapil Goel, Saroj Naithani, Dheeraj Bhatt, Ajay Khera, Umid M. Sharapov, Jennifer L. Kriss, James L. Goodson, Kayla F. Laserson, Parul Goel, R. Mohan Kumar and L.S. Chauhan.
  • “Development of the World Health Organization measles programmatic risk assessment tool using experience from the 2009 measles outbreak in Namibia” by Jennifer L. Kriss, Roselina J. De Wee, Eugene Lam, Reinhard Kaiser, Messeret E. Shibeshi, Emmy-Else Ndevaetela, Clementine Muroua, Nicholaus Shapumba, Balcha G. Masresha and James L. Goodson.
  • “Using the World Health Organization measles programmatic risk assessment tool for monitoring of supplemental immunization activities in the Philippines” by Maria Joyce U. Ducusin, Maricel de Quiroz-Castro, Sigrun Roesel, Luzviminda C. Garcia, Dulce Cecilio-Elfa, W. William Schluter, James L. Goodson, and Eugene Lam.
  • “The World Health Organization measles programmatic risk assessment tool - Romania, 2015” by Jennifer L. Kriss, Aurora Stanescu, Adriana Pistol, Cassandra Butu and James Goodson.
  • “Application of the World Health Organization programmatic assessment tool for risk of measles virus transmission - lessons learned from a measles outbreak in Senegal” by Jennifer B. Harris, Ousseynou Badiane, Eugene Lam, Jennifer Nicholson, Ibrahim Oumar Ba, Aliou Diallo, Amadou Fall, Balcha G. Masresha and James L. Goodson.
  • “Modeling the transmission of measles and rubella to support global management policy analyses and eradication investment cases” by Kimberly M. Thompson and Nima D. Badizadegan.


Risk Analysis: An International Journal is published by the nonprofit Society for Risk Analysis (SRA), an interdisciplinary, scholarly, international society that provides an open forum for all who are interested in risk analysis, a critical function in complex modern societies. Risk analysis includes risk assessment, risk characterization, risk communication, risk management, and risk policy affecting individuals, public- and private-sector organizations, and societies at a local, regional, national, or global level. To learn more, visit