WHO to declare Nepal as polio-free today - TopicsExpress


WHO to declare Nepal as polio-free today Manish Gautam0 KATHMANDU, MAR 27 - Nepal will be declared polio -free by the World Health Organization on Thursday for maintaining polio -free status for the last three years. Three years ago, on August 30, a 22-month baby girl from Rautahat was the last case to be diagnosed with polio . Following the worldwide campaign to eradicate polio that kicked off in 1988, Nepal started immunising children with polio vaccine. Polio got particular focus since 1996 when the government started marking National Immunisation Day. More than 600,000 newborns are now administered with anti- polio drops each year. The routine vaccine programme together with frequent campaigns have helped the country combat the virus, said Dr Badri Raj Pandey, chairman of the National Certification Committee of polio . After two cases were reported in 1999 and four in 2000, Nepal was polio -free for the next four years. Between 2005 and 2008, 20 cases were reported due to cross-border transmission. In 2009, the country was again polio -free. As India too realised the threat of the disease and started massive vaccination campaign, no new cases have surfaced in Nepal since 2010. On January 13, India too got its polio -free status after remaining clean since the last case was reported from West Bengal on January 13, 2011. “India’s aggressive fight against the disease has helped us maintain the polio -free status,” said Dr Pandey, who heads a team tasked with verifying the effectiveness of the polio programme in the country. The government also has surveillance medical officers for continuous monitoring of vaccine safety and effectiveness in 10 districts, with special attention on Siraha, Mohattari and Rautahat where more cases of polio were reported in the past. A team led by Minister of Health and Population Khagaraj Adhikari left for New Delhi on Wednesday to attend the meeting of South-East Asia Regional Certification Commission for Polio Eradication on March 27. Also on the team are Director of Child Health Division Dr Sinendra Upreti, Dr Lin Aung, WHO representative for Nepal, Dr Badri Raj Pandey, chairman of National Certification Committee of polio . “This is a great achievement for Nepal. We are working earnestly to make sure that each child of the country gets polio vaccination,” Dr Upreti said before his departure. He said they will work to make sure that no new cases enters Nepal from Pakistan and Afghanistan, where polio is still to be eradicated. Besides Nepal, nine other members of South-East Asia Region of World Health Organization — Bangladesh, Bhutan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste will also be certified as polio -free. Nepal Report Card Year No of polio cases 1999 2 2000 4 2005 4 2006 5 2007 5 2008 6 2010 6 Source: Child Health Division Posted on: 2014-03-27 01:59
Posted on: Thu, 27 Mar 2014 06:11:55 +0000

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