Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


A community health worker administers a polio health vaccine during a polio immunization campaign in Kiamako, Nairobi, Kenya

African countries have committed to ending all forms of polio after cases of vaccine-derived polio increased last year, partly because of disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, Africa had been declared free of the wild poliovirus, after four years without a single case. But a variant has since returned in communities where not enough children have received the vaccine against it.

Addressing a session of the World Health Organization's regional committee for Africa, the director of Uganda's Health Ministry, Henry Mwebesa, said his country would carry out a national campaign to vaccinate children against polio before the end of the year.

"The challenges we anticipate is vaccine hesitancy, which has been common even with the COVID vaccines, and we expect to continue during this period. But we will try our best to mobilize the whole country, cultural leaders, the political leadership and professional associations to assist us to mobilize the communities to address the challenge, the hesitance, to make sure that all our children below five years have received this novel OPV," Mwebesa said.

The novel Oral Polio Vaccine is key to stopping polio outbreaks.

Last year, Africa was declared free of wild poliovirus. In the last three years, however, 23 African states have experienced outbreaks of vaccine-derived poliovirus 2. That's a strain of weakened poliovirus that was included in the oral virus but mutated over time and now behaves like the wild or naturally occurring virus.

Polio eradication campaign in Democratic Republic of Congo Polio eradication campaign in Democratic Republic of Congo Image source: wikimediawikimedia

WHO regional director Matshidiso Moeti said the continent needs to do more to eradicate that form of the poliovirus.

"Our shared objective is to stop all polioviruses by 2023 and to integrate a polio infrastructure to strengthen border disease surveillance and outbreak response systems, as well as immunization policies," Moeti said.

Ethiopia has recorded seven cases of poliovirus type 2 in 2021. The country's health minister, Lia Tadesse, says her government is trying to address the current outbreaks.

"We all agree that the quality of any campaign is as good as our preparedness. We follow our preparedness to the national foundation mechanisms using electronic data tools and self-assessment at the different levels up to the district and then validate those assessments," Tadesse said.

More than 100 million African children have been vaccinated against the poliovirus since July 2020. But many others missed the vaccinations due to the coronavirus pandemic. (VOA/RN)

Keywords: Africa, Polio, Vaccination, Eradication, Etiopia, novel Oral Polio Vaccine


wikimedia commons

Children playing ringa ringa roses in an open backyard in England

Great historic events that have shaped the world and changed the outlines of countries are often not recorded in memory, or so we think. Wars made sure to destroy evidence and heritage, and the ones who survived told the tale of what really happened. Folklore, albeit through oral tradition kept alive many such stories, hidden in verse, limericks, and rhymes.

Ringa-ringa-roses, a common playtime rhyme among children across the world, is an example of folklore that has survived for many centuries. It tells the story of the The Great Plague of London which ravaged the city between 1665-1666.

Keep Reading Show less
wikimedia commons

Certain tribes have remained matrilineal, where the decision-making power rests with the eldest female of the family.

In modern times, many social movements aim to bring reform to the society we live in, on the basis of certain existing patterns. Patriarchy is something that many aim to cleanse our cultures of, to usher in the era of social and gender equality. Despite all these so-called movements, in southern India, certain societies that patronise matriarchy have existed since before India's independence. The Nairs and Ezhavas of Kerala, and Bunts and Billavas of Karnataka are matrilineal societies that continue to thrive in a patriarchal country.

Kerala remains separate from the rest of India in many ways. Be it literacy policy, form of government, or cultural practices, this state does not always conform to the ideal that India is known for. Even so with their social structure. Certain tribes have remained matrilineal, where the decision-making power rests with the eldest female of the family.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Medhat Dawoud on Unsplash

It is the world's top tech company in turnover (totaling $274.5 billion in 2020) and its most valuable corporation.

Apple inc. Is an American multinational tech firm specialized in consumer electronics, computer programs, and internet services founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne in 1976 to manufacture Wozniak's Apple iComputer. It is the world's top tech company in turnover (totaling $274.5 billion in 2020) and its most valuable corporation. Apple is the fourth-largest PC seller by unit sales and the fourth-largest smartphone manufacturer in the world.

Apple has revealed a slew of new products at a special launch event that has been long-awaited. On the day of the live event, Apple announced the iPad mini, Apple Watch Series 7, iPhone 13 mini, and iPhone 13, as well as the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Keep reading... Show less