The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that if urgent measures are not taken, more than half of the world’s countries may face a measles outbreak by the end of the year.

During a press conference in Geneva, WHO said that many countries have not been vaccinating against measles this year.“What we are worried about is this year, 2024, we’ve got these big gaps in our immunisation programmes and if we don’t fill them really quickly with the vaccine, measles will just jump into that gap,” stated Natasha Crowcroft, a senior technical adviser on Measles and Rubella.

She called for urgent action to protect children, saying there was a “lack of commitment” by governments given competing issues like economic crises and conflict.


According to data from the World Health Organization, last year measles cases worldwide increased by 79 percent.

Death rates are higher in poorer countries due to weaker health systems, Crowcroft said, adding that outbreaks and deaths were also a risk for middle and high-income countries.