Since the introduction of vaccines, diseases such as measles and polio were quickly becoming a thing of the past. However, the world’s progress on immunisation is now being threatened.
As Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia work to end Ebola, critical healthcare services damaged by the epidemic are beginning to be revitalised.
Measles remains one of the leading causes of death for young children worldwide, even though a safe vaccine is available.
It came as no surprise to Dr Zulfikar Ahmad Bhutta, a leading child expert at the Aga Khan University in Karachi, that an outbreak of measles has claimed the lives of more than 300 children in Pakistan. "The tragedy was in the offing," he said, putting the blame squarely on the abysmally low coverage of routine immunisation against childhood diseases.