Measles claims 122,000 lives each year, according to a WHO estimate made in 2012. Though this number seems much too high, it must be noted that the this figure has decreased by 78% since 2000. In 12 years, through the efforts of WHO workers and volunteers, administration of the measles vaccine to children worldwide has been the sole provider of this incredible success.
This is extremely good news, however the threat still remains. Outbreaks are still prevalent in Africa, and parts of South-East Asia and Europe. Additionally in developed countries many parents have ignorantly prevented their children from receiving the vaccine as well as vaccines for other deadly, but easily preventable diseases. Pockets of measles, as well as pertussis and mumps have begun to pop up in parts of the US in recent months.
The Measles and Rubella Initiative has set a goal to reduce measles death by 95% by 2015 and eradicate the disease from at least five regions of the world by 2020. It is a lofty goal, however with funding, education and decrease in political and religious barriers, it can be reached.