Effect of measles prevalence and vaccination coverage on other disease burden: evidence of measles immune amnesia in 46 African countries.


We found the strong evidence that the increase in the measles prevalence led to an increase in other disease prevalence and mortality. We also found that the increase in the measles vaccination coverage decreased the prevalence of and the mortality due to other diseases.

Measles is highly infectious that leads to a high disease burden among the vulnerable population, especially in developing countries, despite the availability of highly effective measles vaccine. Immune amnesia, the resetting of the immune systems of infected patients, has been observed in developed countries. This paper is the first to use various African countries to evaluate the extent of immune amnesia.

We used two panel datasets from 46 African countries between 1990 and 2018 among children, one is the disease prevalence from Global Burden of Disease, and another is on the measles vaccination coverage from WHO/UNICEF Joint Reporting Form. We used panel regression to estimate the effect of measles prevalence or measles vaccination coverage on other disease prevalence (diarrhea, lower respiratory infection, malaria, meningitis, and tuberculosis).

Measles vaccination can have a large impact on children's health because not only does it reduce the prevalence of measles cases and deaths but also could it potentially reduce the prevalence of and deaths due to other diseases.

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