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Community Health: Preventing Measles

Painting Pictures and Saving Lives
...the possibility of eradicating measles is in sight.

The Red Cross partnered with the Myanmar Ministry of Health in March 2012 on a nationwide measles vaccination campaign. Myanmar Red Cross volunteers went door to door in rural communities to educate parents and encourage participation in the campaign, often holding hands with the children as they walked the whole family to the vaccination site. Whether mobilizing the community, helping with registration, or comforting a child, these amazing volunteers play an integral role in ensuring children receive this lifesaving gift.

As a founding partner of the Measles Initiative, the American Red Cross has supported the vaccination of more than 1 billion children against measles over the last decade, including more than 146 million in the past year. Red Cross volunteers have played a critical role in measles vaccination campaigns by going door-to-door, reaching even remote communities, and educating mothers about the importance of vaccinating their children. With this level of progress, the possibility of eradicating measles is in sight.

This past year, the Measles Initiative expanded its focus to help stop another easily preventable disease—rubella. Now, every time a dollar is donated to the Measles & Rubella Initiative to vaccinate a child against measles, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) will match it with an additional 50 cents to add the rubella vaccine to the shot. This means that children who receive vaccinations will be protected against not just one, but also two, diseases.

Learn more about the people you’ve helped all over the world in our 2012 Global Impact Report – read the report!

To help vaccinate children against measles consider a gift from the American Red Cross holiday catalog.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.