On September 27th, 2016, the P.A.H.O. declared that Measles had been eliminated in the Americas, and we wanted to write about HBI-DC’s goals for eliminating Hepatitis as well. Measles, Hepatitis A, and Hepatitis B are listed as some of the most infectious diseases in the rest of the world. The Pan American Health Organization wrote, “This achievement culminates a 22-year effort involving mass vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella throughout the Americas.”
The Center for Disease Control recommends that a doctor be consulted before traveling abroad, and any necessary “booster” vaccines be administered. Some vaccines need time to be effective, and the process should be started at least 4-6 weeks before the trip begins. The C.D.C. travel destinations list has information on required vaccinations, and recommendations for staying healthy and safe.
Earlier this year, Governor Jerry Brown signed California’s new mandatory vaccination bill into law. Governor Brown wrote, “The science is clear that vaccines dramatically protect children against a number of infectious and dangerous diseases.” Measles and Hepatitis B are both among the 10 diseases requiring vaccination. Starting in 2016, if children are to attend public or private school in CA, they must have passed the Health and Safety of Communicable Disease immunization requirements.
The Oxford Journal of Infectious Diseases published a study on the Global Eradication of Measles: An Epidemiologic and Economic Evaluation; “In terms of estimated program costs, the incremental aggregate discounted costs for elimination by 2020 during 2010–2050 were estimated to be $7.8 billion, comprised largely of vaccination services in non-elimination high-income countries where the delivery costs are greater, followed by costs in low-income countries.” There have been significant reductions in the mortality rate of Measles as well.
HBI-DC has been providing direct service to Virginia, Maryland, and DC communities for a decade. In those ten years, many thousands of individuals have received free screenings, vaccinations, and been linked to treatment. Our organization is committed to accomplishing our mission; elimination of Hepatitis. With such encouraging news about Measles, we intend to make Hepatitis one of the next infectious diseases to go.