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Measles in Morocco: Epidemiological Profile and Impact of Vaccination Strategy



Measles continues to persist as one of the leading causes of infant mortality due to preventable diseases through vaccination. This study aims to highlight measles in Morocco, and to present the vaccination strategy implemented to control and eliminate the disease in this country.


Throughout this study, and based on data from the Directorate of Epidemiology and Control of Diseases and those of the Directorate of Population, we present an overview on the epidemiological trends of measles from 1997 to 2012, while evoking the plans established by the Ministry of Health (MoH) for the control and elimination of this disease.


The number of measles cases has decreased in Morocco between 1997 and 2012 (2574–720 reported cases per year) as a result of four important steps: first, increasing the routine vaccination coverage (73–94%); second, the introduction of the second dose of the combined vaccine against measles and rubella in schools (children aged 6 years) since 2003; third, the first catch-up campaign of vaccination in Morocco in 2008, for which coverage was highly satisfactory (96% and 100% for age groups 5–59 months and 5–14 years, respectively); and fourth, the organization of a mass vaccination campaign in 2013 that targeted children from aged 9 months to 19 years.


The vaccination plan and the surveillance system executed in Morocco within the framework of the regional project implemented by the World Health Organization (WHO) to eliminate measles has given remarkable results regarding the reduction of measles cases and mortality due to this disease. According to the data from MoH and WHO, the number of reported and confirmed measles cases decreased drastically during 2014. However, these efforts are still unsatisfactory compared to the prospective of eliminating the disease by 2015.

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No funding or sponsorship was received for this study or publication of this article. The authors wish to thank all the individuals and institutions that made this study possible especially the Ministry of Health, Directorate of Epidemiology and Control of Diseases, Directorate of Population, National Institute of Hygiene, and Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy at Rabat. All named authors meet the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) criteria for authorship for this manuscript, take responsibility for the integrity of the work as a whole, and have given final approval for the version to be published.

Conflict of interest

Amine Cheikh, Mouncif Ziani, Zakia Cheikh, Amina Barakat, Omar El Menzhi, Mohammed Braikat, Ali Benomar, Yahya Cherrah, and Amine El Hassani have no competing interests to declare.

Compliance with ethics guidelines

The analysis in this article is based on epidemiological data from the databases of the Directorate of Epidemiology and Control of Diseases, and does not involve any new studies of human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

Authors’ contributions

AC and ZC participated in the design of the study, literature search, statistical analysis, and writing the paper. MZ provided the Directorate of Epidemiology and Control of Diseases database and explanations. MB provided the Directorate of Population database and the elements necessary to the discussion, reading, and correcting (expert of the Ministry of Health and World Health Organization). AB participated in reading and correcting the paper (specialist in infectious diseases). YC and AH participated in reading and correcting the paper. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Amine Cheikh.

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Cheikh, A., Ziani, M., Cheikh, Z. et al. Measles in Morocco: Epidemiological Profile and Impact of Vaccination Strategy. Adv Ther 32, 172–183 (2015).

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  • Disease elimination
  • Disease surveillance
  • Epidemiological profile
  • Infectious diseases
  • Measles
  • Morocco
  • Prevention
  • Vaccination strategy