Saturday September 22, 2018

Pakistan’s unending struggle with Polio

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polio
An Afghan child looks on as a health worker administers polio vaccine .
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Islamabad: On March 27, 2014, the World Health Organization announced the eradication of Polio in eleven countries in the South-East Asia Region, including India. However, Pakistan seems to face this infectious disease with never ending struggle.

The first case of Polio for 2016 was reported in Pakistan’s densely populated city of Karachi. Out of 73 cases reported globally, 54 were from Pakistan. Unfortunately, children in Pakistan suffer from malnutrition due to which immunity level hadn’t really built.

Although the country is putting continuous efforts in eradication of the disease by conducting regular vaccination campaigns, Islamic terror groups prove to be major hurdles. The militants consider polio workers as ‘western spies’ and polio drops as western conspiracy to sterilize Muslim children.

Several government initiatives to rest such rumors have been initiated. ‘Muslim Clerics’ appointed by Pakistan government have spoken up in favor of the vaccination.

Health officials, however, admit Polio still prevails in the country, paving way for resurgence of the disease worldwide.

Following video shows Pakistan’s dilemma with tackling this never ending disease.


(Image source: pakistantoday.com.pk)

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  • guest

    Stop giving the vaccine. The US stopped because it was causing Polio.
    In 1976, Dr Jonas Salk, creator of the killed-virus vaccine used in the 1950’s, testified that the live-virus vaccine (used almost exclusively in the U.S. from the early 1960’s to 2000) was the “principal if not sole cause” of all reported polio cases in the U.S. since 1961 (Washington Post,September 24,1976). The virus remains in the throat for one to two weeks and in the feces for up to two months. Thus, vaccine recipients are at risk, and can potentially spread the disease, as long as fecal excretion of the virus continues ( American Academy of Pediatrics, Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases:1986(Elk Grove Village, Illinois: AAP):284–5.

    It was discovered that both versions of the vaccine cause polio or the more severe form-Non Polio Acute Flaccid Paralysis. Clinically indistinguishable from Polio but more difficult to treat.

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  • guest

    Stop giving the vaccine. The US stopped because it was causing Polio.
    In 1976, Dr Jonas Salk, creator of the killed-virus vaccine used in the 1950’s, testified that the live-virus vaccine (used almost exclusively in the U.S. from the early 1960’s to 2000) was the “principal if not sole cause” of all reported polio cases in the U.S. since 1961 (Washington Post,September 24,1976). The virus remains in the throat for one to two weeks and in the feces for up to two months. Thus, vaccine recipients are at risk, and can potentially spread the disease, as long as fecal excretion of the virus continues ( American Academy of Pediatrics, Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases:1986(Elk Grove Village, Illinois: AAP):284–5.

    It was discovered that both versions of the vaccine cause polio or the more severe form-Non Polio Acute Flaccid Paralysis. Clinically indistinguishable from Polio but more difficult to treat.

Next Story

Authorities In Zimbabwe Face Drug-Resistant Cholera Bacteria

Critics blame the government for failing to address issues of poor water supply, blocked sewers, and irregular trash collection, factors which are said to be making a cholera outbreak worse.

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Cholera, Zimbabwe
Cholera patients are seen isolated at Budiriro clinic. VOA

The United Nations says it is hopeful Zimbabwe will soon contain an outbreak of cholera that has killed more than two dozen people. Efforts are complicated as authorities are fighting a drug-resistant bacterium said to be fueling the spread of the waterborne disease.

Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Health Friday said the number of cholera-related deaths has climbed to 28, and more than 3,700 cases have been reported across Zimbabwe, with the country’s capital, Harare, remaining the epicenter of the problem.

Cholera, Zimbabwe
Amina Mohammed, the deputy chief of the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF), says her organisation is importing more drugs to combat cholera and is optimistic the situation is improving and stabilizing, in Harare, Zimbabwe. VOA

Amina Mohammed, the deputy chief of the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF), said patients are not responding to the drugs typically used to combat the disease. She said doctors are now using second and third-line drugs, which she said UNICEF is importing.

She said the outbreak can be contained if people follow basic hygiene practices at home.

Cholera, Zimbabwe
A medical staff member (left) administers oral rehydrating solution to a cholera patient to replace fluids he lost through diarrhea, in Harare, Zimbabwe. VOA

 

“This is an outbreak, at the beginning it is not easy to bring everyone together. But I think we have all rallied behind and are improving. I think we are stabilizing. I am happy about that. It could be better but we are happy that there is coordination by the ministry of health, together with the WHO, ourselves, MSF is doing a great job managing these cases,” said Mohammed referring to the World Health Organization and Doctors Without Borders, the latter known for its French acronym MSF.

UNICEF, the WHO and MSF are some of the organizations that took action after Zimbabwe’s health minister declared a state of emergency Monday.

 

Cholera, Zimbabwe
A woman is seen washing clothes in the Mukuvisi River in Harare, Zimbabwe, Sept. 11, 2018, as water shortages persist, what experts say is fueling the spread of cholera. VOA

 

On Thursday, the University of Zimbabwe postponed a graduation ceremony that President Emmerson Mnangagwa was supposed to attend, after police banned all public gatherings in light of the cholera outbreak.

But Jacob Mafume, spokesman of the main opposition party MDC, said the ban was only meant to stop its planned “inauguration” of party leader Nelson Chamisa Saturday as the “people’s president.”

 

Cholera, Zimbabwe
Raw sewage is seen flowing in the streets in Harare, Zimbabwe Sept. 11, 2018, with experts saying such conditions create an ideal environment for waterborne diseases such as salmonella, typhoid and cholera to thrive. VOA

 

“The government is using its failure to provide water, it is taking advantage of its failures to restrict the freedoms of the people. They are running scared of our president Nelson Chamisa since his victory, to quickly take over from ZANU-PF inefficiency so that people can be healed from medieval diseases,” said Mafume.

Mnangagwa’s government has refused to comment on what it called “cheap politics” by the opposition, which has refused to accept results from the July 30 elections.

Cholera, Zimbabwe
Authorities go for weeks without collecting trash resulting in Harare residents dumping it anywhere they can, creating conditions for cholera organisms to thrive, say health experts, in Harare, Zimbabwe. VOA

It said it is concentrating on containing the cholera outbreak which has since spread from Harare to other parts of the country.

Also Read: Video- Zimbabwe’s Newly Appointed President Calls For Unity

Critics blame the government for failing to address issues of poor water supply, blocked sewers, and irregular trash collection, factors which are said to be making a cholera outbreak worse. (VOA)