In 2009, 27 of the 46 African countries had attained a coverage rate of 80% or over for the first dose of measles-containing vaccine (MCV1), in accordance with WHO/United Nations Children's Fund coverage estimates, while 15 countries had attained coverage of over 90%.
In 2009, 19 countries conducted measles supplementary immunization activities during which an estimated 29.7 million children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years were vaccinated. Coverage of 95% or more was attained by 11 out of 19 countries. In addition, the measles supplementary immunization activities in all 19 countries were used to deliver additional child survival interventions. The total number of children vaccinated during measles supplementary immunization activities between 2001 and 2009 has reached 425 million.
In 2009, a number of countries reported large measles outbreaks, including Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Mali, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Programmatic information and outbreak investigation reveals that non-vaccination of infant cohorts, resulting in a critical accumulation of susceptible populations, was a major factor in these outbreaks. Forty African countries have established measles case-based surveillance with laboratory confirmation.
Following the 92% mortality reduction (see figure) in the WHO African Region between 2000 and 2008, the Fifty-ninth Session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa endorsed a measles elimination goal for 2020.