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As World Polio Day is observed around the globe amid the COVID-19 pandemic on Saturday, experts underlined the need for continuing the polio immunization program to help maintain India’s polio-free status.
Since March 2020, the pandemic has disrupted life-saving immunization endeavors around the world, putting millions of children at risk of diseases like polio, diphtheria, and measles.
The disruption of such routine immunization services may be unprecedented since the inception of the expanded program on immunization (EPI) in the 1970s, in both government and private sectors.
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This may significantly decrease the immunity level of the population against polio, said Dr. Preethi Sharma, Consultant Pediatrician, KIMS Cuddles, Kondapur.
“Most hospitals have a separate outpatient department for any fever or COVID suspect cases and the immunization area allows entry of only healthy babies/children. The parents need to be assured that the risk of COVID transmission during vaccination is almost negligible but missing the vaccine can definitely increase the child’s risk of getting infected with vaccine-preventable diseases, including polio,” she said.
In order to successfully eradicate polio, parents should get their child immunized with OPV and IPV and also continue to get the vaccine administered during government polio drives. Both vaccines are very safe and their use should be continued. The government should have campaigns to strengthen the immunization drive.
After an uphill battle and multiple doses of the oral polio vaccine, India was declared polio-free (wild poliovirus) in March 2014. This was a huge accomplishment as India was considered one of the most challenging countries.
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“Though India is a wild poliovirus disease-free country currently, the cases of Vaccine Derived Polio Virus (VDPV) disease can be seen. The emergence of VDPV disease is a known risk of OPV (oral polio vaccine) vaccination, where the weakened live virus given as vaccine in OPV starts becoming virulent and thus gives rise to the disease in a few children among the lakhs that were vaccinated with it.”
There is a dire need to focus on getting more and more children vaccinated with IPV(Injectable Polio Vaccine), which not only poses no risk of VDPV but also gives 99 percent protection from wild polio and VDPV disease.
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Until all the children in the country are not vaccinated with IPV, the risk of polio resurgence either due to importations from neighboring Pakistan and Afghanistan, the only two polio-endemic countries in the world now, or from VDPV will be there, the doctor said.
Another important step which the government has taken is to start using the inactivated (injectable) polio vaccine (IPV) in its routine schedule. IPV has been used by private practitioners and corporate hospitals for many years but now it can have widespread reach with the government adopting it in its routine immunization schedule. IPV protects against polio without any risk of vaccine-derived polio. As wild poliovirus is eliminated, OPV needs to be phased out.
The government has already removed type 2 containing OPV (the trivalent OPV to bivalent OPV switch). The reason being the type 2 component contained in trivalent OPV accounts for more than 90 percent of all vaccine-derived poliovirus cases (bivalent OPV does not contain type 2).
Want to read more in Hindi? Checkout: महिलाओं की तुलना में पुरुष अधिक कोविड एंटीबॉडी बनाते हैं
“Year after year, and generation after generation, the government of India and the people here have taken a mission route with the vision to eradicate deadly polio. Administering polio drops to newborn babies was a small yet most effective means of tackling the spread of poliovirus. And it is the same commitment that is needed in these COVID-19 times to put an end to the deadly coronavirus.
“Not letting the guard down is the only way to overcome the present crisis. People must believe that following prescribed restrictions and ensuring safety norms is the only way we can come out of the problem,” said Dr. Ravindra Parigi, Consultant Neonatologist at Medicover Hospitals, Visakhapatnam.
On World Polio Day 2020, it is important to look at the learnings India and the world can take from the past efforts to overcome the current COVID-19 crisis. Though polio still exists in underdeveloped nations like Pakistan and Afghanistan, the instances have decreased by over 99 percent in comparison with the 1980s, he added. (IANS)
Singer Rihanna was honoured by Prime Minister Mia Mottley at an event which marked Barbados's new status as a republic, which was attended by Prince Charles. Addressing the pop star by her real name, the PM said: "Robyn Rihanna Fenty tomorrow morning shall have conferred upon her the order of national hero of Barbados."
Rihanna was then summoned from her seat to accept the honor, with the Prime Minister managing to rouse a laugh from the singer when she referenced her 2012 hit 'Diamonds', reports femalefirst.co.uk. She added: "On behalf of a grateful nation, but an even prouder people, we therefore present to you, the designee, for the national hero of Barbados." "And to accept on behalf of a grateful nation - you can come my dear - ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty, may you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honor to your nation." Rihanna, who was born in the St Michael parish of Barbados, found fame in 2005 after being spotted by a record producer and has since gone on to become one of the most successful female artists of all time with sales of over 250 million and recently reached billionaire status through her Fenty beauty brand.
The Prime Minister continued in her speech: "Commanding the imagination of the world through the pursuit of excellence, her creativity, her discipline, and above all else, her extraordinary commitment to the land of her birth. "Having satisfied that, Ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty has given service to Barbados which has been exemplified by visionary and pioneering leadership, extraordinary achievement and the attaining of the highest excellence to the Government of Barbados." It comes after a historic move for Barbados, which has become a republic after almost 400 years and welcomes its first president, Sandra Mason, after removing Queen Elizabeth as head of state. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: National hero of Barbados, Robyn Rihanna Fenty, Prince Charles, Barbado, Mia Mottley, Prime Minister, Rihanna)
By Manav Bhatia
It's that time of the year when there are festivities galore and entertaining comes to the fore. Manav Bhatia, Founder Trunkin shares some tablescapes for the season
Christmas Tablescapes: Whether it's cherry red tablecloths or plush green napkin rings, there's something for everyone. Red and green are synonymous with colour themes this time of year.
Red and green are synonymous with colour themes this time of year. | Photo by Libby Penner on Unsplash
Finish it off with Royalty: Jewelled napkin rings are an essential table accessory. Jewelled beads in the centre of a napkin ring surrounded by metal carving can be combined in a variety of forms and sizes and gives a touch of glamour.
Jewelled napkin rings are an essential table accessory. | Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash
Touch of Smoke: Winter is the season when evening decor is especially important for parties, get-togethers, and bonfires. Colours in grey and ivory combine night with the day. Embroidered tablecloths, paired with lit glass votives, adds refinement to the evening.
Embroidered tablecloths, paired with lit glass votives, adds refinement to the evening. | Pxhere
Smearing of Wood: Nature's finish using ferns and drift wood for decor instead of flowers add to the winter feels.
Wall Hangings: Embroidered and beaded hangings add a touch of elegance and are traditional accessories for Christmas. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: Wall Hangings, Wood, Winter, Smoke, Royalty, Christmas, Festivities, Perfect Setting)
Have you ever faced eye redness? Or have witnessed blurry or foggy vision? Or experiencing halos around lights? Or nausea and vomiting are very common for you. You may well be suffering from Glaucoma which needs immediate attention.
Glaucoma is the second most common causes of blindness worldwide, according to a report by World Health Organisation (WHO). Typically, it occurs in people with over the age of 60 however it can occur at any age. It is also estimated that globally 79.6 million people are affected with glaucoma, half of them being Asian population. While in India, around 11.9 million people suffer vision impairment and out of which 1.2 million cases are due to Glaucoma. It is a growing concern for the population in India. Even after these high numbers, the enormous majority remains undiagnosed, and untreated. More than 90 percent of cases of Glaucoma remain undiagnosed.
Glaucoma is the second most common causes of blindness worldwide, according to a report by World Health Organisation (WHO). | Wikimedia Commons
Glaucoma is a condition that damages the nerve of the eye. The increased pressure in the eye, which is known as intraocular pressure, can damage the optic nerve which is responsible for sending images to the brain. If the damage worsens, glaucoma can cause permanent vision loss or even total blindness within a few years. According to WHO, there are different kinds of glaucoma, though, the two most common are, primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), having a slow and slow and asymptomatic onset, and angle-closure glaucoma (ACG), which is less common, yet more acute. Hence, it is important for everybody over the age of 40 years to have a regular eye check-up.
The eye disorder may be treated with the help of eye drops prescribed by Ophthalmologist. There are various options available to lower intraocular pressure to the desired level. Depending upon the need of the patient, doctor may recommend combinations of eye drops, but it is of utmost importance to use the drops on a regular basis. However, consulting a specialist should be the first priority if diagnosed with glaucoma, but most of the population will first opt for home remedies then will consult chemists' shops for medicines and if the issue is still not resolved then will they think of a specialist. There is a need to modify the mindset of the people and when it comes to sensory organs zero negligence rule should be followed.
The eye disorder may be treated with the help of eye drops prescribed by Ophthalmologist. | Photo by CDC on Unsplash
Awareness is the key to managing Glaucoma better. The need of the hour is to include eye care as part of the health check-up. Timely detection of Glaucoma will lead to proper medication and diagnosis by an Ophthalmologist. Talking about prevention, early detection will help in managing glaucoma before significant damage occurs. Glaucoma can be because of genetics as well hence knowing the family's eye history is important. Regular and moderate exercise may help prevent glaucoma by reducing eye pressure also eye drops can significantly reduce the risk that high pressure will progress to glaucoma.
Also, there are few home remedies that anyone can follow to avoid glaucoma. Consuming healthy food, using eyewear, avoiding head-down position, keeping oral hygienic, and protecting eyes from sunlight are a few of such remedies. One should be mindful of the fact that Glaucoma is irreversible blindness and awareness can help us in fighting it. Depending on the condition an Ophthalmologist may prescribe an oral medication or may suggest therapies. In severe conditions, doctors can also recommend surgeries like Laser therapy, Filtering surgery, Drainage tubes, minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS). (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: eye disorder, eye, India, World Health Organisation, blindness , foggy vision, eye redness, Glaucoma, Ophthalmologist