Thursday February 27, 2020

World Immunization Week: Vaccine is the most powerful Public Health Tool

FILE - A boy gets an influenza vaccine injection at a health care clinic in Boston, Massachusetts, Jan. 12, 2013. VOA

Six years ago, 194 countries signed on to the Global Vaccine Action Plan, an international campaign to provide children and adults around the world with access to life-saving vaccines.

The goal of the program is to prevent millions of people from getting vaccine-preventable diseases by the time it ends in 2020. The idea is to provide universal access to vaccines to protect people of all ages, from the very young to the very old.

Dr. Flavia Bustreo, is the assistant director-general for Family, Women’s and Children’s Health at the World Health Organization.

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“Immunization and vaccines are the most powerful public health tools that we have currently, “ she said.

Millions of children saved

Bustreo says 35 years ago, 13 million children lost their lives from diseases that could be prevented by vaccines.

She says that number has been reduced to 6 million, but 6 million is still too high.

Today, 85 percent of children are vaccinated against measles and other deadly diseases, but Bustreo says more children need these vaccines.

“We need to have vaccination coverage that is about 90 percent, in order to have what we call the ‘herd effect’ … which means you cover the children who are vaccinated, but also, because of the reduction of transmission of infections, you also cover the children that are not vaccinated,” Bustreo said.

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Final push on polio

Because of vaccines, polio is on the brink of eradication. Polio exists in two conflict zones: in northern Nigeria and along the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Last year there were 37 cases. Compare that to the 350,000 cases in 1988 when the eradication campaign began.

There’s a special urgency to vaccinate all children against polio. Dr. David Nabarro has worked on a number of health programs at the World Health Organization and now as a special envoy for the United Nations.

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“The last part of eradicating any disease is always the hardest part,” he said. “If you don’t do it, you lose everything. To do it, you’ve got to really bring all the energy and commitment you can to bear, and it requires a special kind of dedication.”

Vaccines have prevented millions of deaths and countless numbers of children from becoming disabled. By 2020, at the conclusion of the Global Vaccine Action Plan, the U.N. wants to see countries strengthen routine immunizations for all children. It wants to complete the effort to end polio and to control other vaccine-preventable diseases. Also, the goal is to be well on the way in developing new vaccines for other diseases that plague our world. (VOA)

Next Story

Hazardous Dangers Caused by Pest Repellants

Repellents offer notable convenience when it comes to keeping away biting and stinging pests.

By Dinesh Kumar

Repellents offer notable convenience when it comes to keeping away biting and stinging pests. They work by interfering with the natural mechanisms that pests use to locate their victims.  For example, chemical agents within mosquito repellents mask the carbon dioxide and sweat odour produced by the body. In this manner, mosquito repellents make a person ‘invisible’ to this disease-carrying insect. 

Other pest repellents use non-biodegradable synthetic chemicals capable of interfering with vital metabolic processes in the target pest. Chemicals such as diethyl-methyl benzamide( DEET) and dimethyl phthalate (DMP) can interfere with the respiratory system of many insect species even at low concentrations. Best Pest Control Companies will use organic ways to get rid of the pests. 

This capability is why many popular pest repellents contain DEET and DMP as the main active ingredients. Unfortunately, these highly effective organic compounds pose a notable health risk to human beings in higher concentrations. This article looks at the various dangers posed by pest repellents.

  • Poisoning of Small children

Pest repellent manufacturers try to make their products as desirable as possible. This is why popular‘s repellants use fruity sweet-smelling fragrances that appeal to a consumer’s sense of smell. Furthermore, manufacturers often present their products as multifunctional purchases. Good examples would be cans of pest repellant that you can use as air-fresheners and skin lotions with insect-repelling properties.

Other pest repellents use non-biodegradable synthetic chemicals capable of interfering with vital metabolic processes in the target pest.

While it is only logical to use a sweet-smelling pest repellent, such repellents do pose a significant danger when it comes to small kids. Reason being, the sweet smell might trick a child into eating a liquid or balm repellant. In this scenario, severe poisoning can occur due to the child’s lower body weight.

  • Cancer with Longterm Use

The non-biodegradable organic nature of the active ingredients found in pest repellents pose yet another significant hazard to users of these products. Users typically apply the repellent directly to the skin, either an aerosol spray or body lotion. When this happens, the active chemical agents within the product diffuse across the layers of skin and end up in the bloodstream. 

In this manner, DEET, DMP and other toxic organic compounds begin accumulating within body tissue. In a wide range of scenarios, these chemicals are fat-soluble, so end up in fatty tissue. Over time, and with regular use of pest repellents, concentrations of these harmful chemicals can reach such high levels that cancer develops. However, it takes decades of fanatical pest repellent use for one to develop the fatal condition.

  • Skin Conditions

pest repellants
Proper use of pest repellents requires users to spray or rub the chemical concoction onto the skin. Pixabay

Proper use of pest repellents requires users to spray or rub the chemical concoction onto the skin. As a consequence, some of the active ingredients in the repellent start making their way into the skin. While within the skin, these reactive chemical compounds can irritate cell membranes and even dehydrate cells. 

In the above scenario, red itchy blotches begin to form around the area of application. These blotches typically dissipate with discontinued use of the repellent.  However, some people do experience adverse reactions to the chemicals whereby painful lesions develop on the skin. It is, therefore, advisable to immediately stop using a pest repellant once you notice increased sensitivity on areas of application.


Despite having notable practical benefits, the active ingredients in pest repellents do pose a considerable health risk to users. Still there are some pest removal service providers where they use natural pest repellants and other alternative ways to control pests.

Also Read- Apple to Launch ARM-Based Laptop in 2021: Report

Author Bio:

Dinesh Kumar VM.

I’m an SEO Analyst and blogger outreach expert at ClickDo Ltd. Also work in Google Ads, Facebook Ads & Remarketing. Enjoy writing business & tech related blogs, Contributor of London Business News blog.