Welcome Welcome yet again to a new year yet again to a new year

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Dear Authors, reviewers, editors, and our readers, Welcome yet again to a new year when we begin our third year journey.

We owe this continuity and success to you all. Thank you for being consistent in your association with The Health Press – Zambia (THP-Z).

THP-Z is a public health journal aimed at communicating public health issue to policy makers, program officers, public health practitioners, researchers and public at large. It is our hope that you were all kept abreast on matters of public health significance that occurred last year.

There’s a common saying that states that ‘Knowledge is power’ and with on-going concerns over global health security, we surely hope we shared enough information to secure your health and that of others within our communities. Last year we themed our monthly issues around health days celebrated in the year. This year we shall continue to do the same but in addition we shall ensure to communicate on areas of public health concern that affected our communities the previous month, having further analysed the Integrated Surveillance and Response Reports compiled by the surveillance and disease intelligence unit.

Last year saw a continued resurgence of measles from 2017 in communities known to have eliminated or close to the elimination of this vaccine preventable disease. In 2018, all WHO regions reported measles cases and outbreaks in many of their member states (Figure 1). According to the WHO, reports from 183 of the 194 member states indicated a cumulative 154,403 cases in 2017 and 229,068 cases in 2018 [1]. January 2019 also saw measles outbreaks reported in the USA, the Washington State declaring a state  of emergency due to the ongoing outbreak [2]; Atlanta, New Jersey, New York, Brazil, Australia, Chile, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and Ukraine which has the largest numbers of 3,450 cases by third week of January [3]. The resurgence and continued circulation in endemic countries is attributed to gaps in vaccination coverage [2].

The January issue publishes various articles relating to measles including: the editorial entitled ‘Measles – are we on track towards the elimination agenda’ which gives a synopsis of measles elimination agenda progress in Zambia. We also publish ‘A retrospective analysis of measles trends and vaccination coverage in Zambia from 2016 to 2018’, ‘Reasons for non-vaccination in a measles-rubella vaccination campaign in Zambia, 2016’ and republish ‘Measles viruses in Zambia: A review on circulating wild-type genotypes and complications with human immunodeficiency virus and control (2006-2016). Outside measles THP-Z has published in this issue, a policy brief ‘What the Hep is going on? Protecting future generations by addressing Hepatitis B among pregnant women and newborns in Zambia’

Enjoy the read and keep the information flowing and disseminate by publishing with us and following us on twitter @PressZambia and The Health Press – Zambia on Facebook.

Figure 1: Measles incidence worldwide, 2018

List of References

1. World Health Organisation. Global Measles and rubella update January 2019.  URL: https://www.who.int/immunization/monitoring_surveillance/burden/vpd/surveillance_type/active/measles_monthlydata/en/

2. Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention. Measles cases and outbreaks: Measles cases 2019. URL: https://www.cdc.gov/measles/cases-outbreaks.html

3. Hackett WD. Worldwide measles spotlight: Week ending January 26, 2019: Measles virus outbreaks reported by the CDC, PAHO, and WHO January 2019. URL: https://www.precisionvaccinations.com/measles-virus-outbreaks-reported-cdc-paho-and-who-january-2019