Tag Archives: polio

Bangladesh: some 22 million children immunised against polio

Health experts in Bangladesh have successfully immunised 22 million under-five children [or about 97 percent of that age group] against polio. […] Polio (poliomyelitis) is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus [that] enters the body through the mouth, or in water or food that has been contaminated with faecal material from an infected person. The disease mainly affects younger children.

“We hope we will be able to make Bangladesh polio-free by 2011,” Salma Begum, a local field worker told IRIN in a suburb of Dhaka, adding that there had not been a single case of polio in the country since November 2006.

Field workers from the government’s health and family planning department, along with 600,000 volunteers administered the oral polio vaccines (OPVs) to children on 29 November at 140,000 sites across the country, followed by a four-day house-to-house search to ensure that no child was left out.

[…] [The immunisation campaign was] part of Bangladesh’s current (17th) national immunisation day (NID), with each one receiving two drops of OPV and a vitamin A capsule as part of the first round of the campaign. Vitamin A is given to children to bolster their immune system against diseases such as measles, diarrhoea and night blindness.

[…] The government of Bangladesh, with support from UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), carried out the campaign.

[…] Bangladesh launched the drive to immunise all under-five children when, after a lapse of five years, a case of polio was detected in March 2006.

[…] Measles and diarrhoea contribute to over 25 percent of deaths among children aged 1-5 in Bangladesh, UNICEF has reported.

Source: IRIN, 01 Dec 2008

Pakistan: MoE confident to achieve IYS 2008 targets

The Ministry of Environment is making concerted efforts to achieve the targets set for International Year of Sanitation-2008 […] in collaboration its partners like UNICEF, RSPN, PPAF, Water Aid, WSP-SA, USAID.

The Ministry has prime focus on four targets set for IYS-2008.

The targets one and two include; Finalization and approval of Provincial Sanitation Strategies/Action Plans by the respective Cabinets, and dissemination of hygiene messages [with support of UNICEF, USAID, RSPN and others] focusing on hand washing with soap, construction and use of latrines and use of safe water amongst at least 20% population (33 million).

Targets, three and four, include provision of improved sanitation facilities to at least 6% of the country’s population (700,000 HHs) over and above the existing [by scaling up the concept of Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS)], and finalization and approval of National Drinking Water Policy by the Federal Cabinet and development of action plan for implementation.

[…] “The Balochistan Provincial Cabinet has already approved the provincial sanitation policy and strategy while in other provinces, the strategies are in the process of approval,” said Director General Environment, Javed Ali Khan. “Strategies for AJK and FANA have also been prepared.”

A Sanitation and hygiene week was observed in collaboration with Ministry of Health and UNICEF [in Punjab from from October 27 to November 1, 2008 – The News, 24 Oct 2008].

Source: APP,  18 Oct 2008

[Speaking at a briefing on Global Handwashing Day, Environment Secretary Khushnood Akhtar Lashari revealed] that unsafe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene practices […] cost Rs 112 billion per annum in Pakistan. […] He further said that poor sanitation and hygiene practices were also proving to be one of the route causes of the spread of polio, as, he informed, studies conducted during the year 2008 revealed that most of the Polio cases in Pakistan during the year came from families having no toilets.

[…] In Pakistan, [Lashari] said, diarrhea killed 11% of the total children [who] died before their fifth birthday, while overall cost due to the disease in the country was Rs 55 billion per year.

Source: Khalid Aziz, The Nation, 15 Oct 2008

India – Polio cases highest in India

NEW DELHI: India continues to have the world’s highest number of polio cases this year, with the disease having crippled more children till April than it did during the same period in 2007.

The children who got polio despite multiple doses, did not get enough number of doses to develop adequate protection to polio virus,” a health ministry official said. According to experts, children living in areas with poor environmental sanitation and high population density, like the endemic districts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, need higher doses of polio vaccine to be adequately protected against the virus as they are more frequently exposed to polio virus under these circumstances.

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