Tuesday November 20, 2018

Pakistan’s unending struggle with Polio

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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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Copyright 2016 NewsGram

  • 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

Eastern Congo Suffers From a Deadly Ebola Outbreak

Some people still refuse to believe Ebola exists and have hidden infected family members.

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Ebola, WHO
In this photo taken Sept 9, 2018, a health worker sprays disinfectant on his colleague after working at an Ebola treatment center in Beni, DRC. VOA

An outbreak of Ebola in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo has killed more than 200 people. Almost 300 Ebola cases have been confirmed since the outbreak began in August, authorities say.

The health ministry said half of the cases were in Beni, a city of 800,000 people, in the North Kivu province.

The outbreak is in a conflict zone where dozens of armed groups operate. Aid agencies have been forced to suspend or slow down their work on several occasions since the outbreak.

Ebola, WHO
A health care worker from the World Health Organization, left, gives an Ebola vaccination to a front line aid worker who will then vaccinate people who might potentially have the virus, in Mbandaka, Congo. VOA

Health Minister Oly Ilunga said his response teams “have faced threats, physical assaults, repeated destruction of their equipment and kidnapping.”

“Two of our colleagues in the Rapid Response Medical Unit have even lost their lives in an attack,” Ilunga said.

Ebola was detected in the DRC in 1976. The current outbreak is the tenth since it was first discovered.

The World Health Organization has warned the virus could spread to nearby countries, including Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

congo, ebola
Health care workers from the World Health Organization prepare to give an Ebola vaccination to a front-line aid worker in Beni, Democratic Republic of the Congo. VOA

Medical workers have lots of experience dealing with Ebola outbreaks in the DRC. Fortunately, they have new tools to fight the deadly virus. A new vaccine has shown it can protect people who’ve come into contact with Ebola victims, and more people have learned techniques to keep the virus from spreading.

Also Read: Uganda Readies Itself To Fight Off Ebola From The DRC Border

However, old problems persist with every outbreak. Some people still refuse to believe Ebola exists and have hidden infected family members. Traditional burial practices also put people at risk. (VOA)