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Epidemiological analysis of measles and evaluation of measles surveillance system performance in Iraq, 2005–2010

International Journal of Infectious Diseases
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijid.2011.11.002
  • Measles
  • Epidemiology
  • Analysis
  • Surveillance
  • Iraq
  • Medicine


Summary Objectives The objectives of this study were to identify the risk factors for measles and low vaccination rates, to evaluate the performance of surveillance, and to calculate vaccine effectiveness and failure in Iraq for the years 2005 to 2010. Methods Logistic regression was used on measles surveillance data from Iraq obtained during the period 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2010; adjusted odds ratios were calculated. The performance of surveillance was evaluated according to World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. Results Of 18 746 suspected cases, a measles diagnosis was made for 81.4%. Children aged 1–5 years were the most affected (>48%). The odds of measles were significantly higher in the central and southern provinces than in the northern provinces. Those vaccinated with at least one dose of measles-containing vaccine had a 3.7-times lower risk of contracting measles than those who were not vaccinated. Lower odds of vaccination were noted for adults aged 18 years and older and those living in central and southern provinces, as well as those living outside the capital city of a province. Three WHO performance indicators were lower than the recommended cut-off levels. A vaccine failure rate of 66.1% and effectiveness of 90.03% were estimated. Conclusions Measles continues to be an important cause of morbidity in Iraq. Improvements in vaccine coverage, proper vaccine handling, and prompt reporting of suspected cases are all necessary to eliminate measles from Iraq.

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