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Polio outbreak: Over 8.7 million children to be vaccinated | 933 KFM.

[August 26, 2021]

Over 8.7 million children in Uganda are set to be immunized against polio following confirmation of positive laboratory tests of poliovirus from environmental samples in Kampala.

The program manager for the National Expanded Program on Immunization (UNEPI) Dr. Alfred Driwale says, the exercise will kick off in October this year, and it will cover children under the age of 5 years and below.

He says, currently, they are sensitizing the community to ensure that parents comply to this call.

At the forefront of the global Polio eradication efforts, Uganda was certified free of all Polioviruses in 2006.

However, it has been under constant threat of Polio importation from other Polio-endemic countries in the region, as seen in 2009 and 2010 when Polio importations were reported in Mayuge and Bugiri respectively.


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African countries commit to ending all forms of polio | UN News Centre.

[26 August 2021]

Although the African Region was certified free of wild poliovirus one year ago, after four years without a case, outbreaks of a vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) is spreading throughout communities where too few children have received the polio vaccine, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.

Vaccine-derived poliovirus is a weakened strain of the virus that has changed over time and behaves more like the naturally occurring poliovirus.

At a dedicated meeting on polio, Governments from the WHO African Region committed to ending all remaining forms of polio and presented a scorecard to track progress towards its eradication. 

Since 2018, 23 countries in the region have experienced outbreaks and more than half of the global 1071 cVDPV cases were recorded in Africa.

Cases increased last year partly because of disruptions to polio vaccination campaigns caused by COVID-19according to WHO.

Tools and tactics to stop outbreaks. 

Countries at the meeting discussed how they will begin implementing the new Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) 2022-2026 Strategy, which was launched in June to urgently stop the spread of cVDPVs.

Tactics and tools include advancing the speed and quality of outbreak response, such as through the rapid deployment of WHO surge staff; improving polio vaccine uptake by integrating polio campaigns to reach children who have never been vaccinated; and broadening the rollout of the novel oral polio vaccine type 2 (nOPV2), a new tool that could more sustainably end outbreaks of the most prevalent type 2 cVDPV.  

To date, six countries in Africa have rolled out this vaccine with close to 40 million children vaccinated and no concerns for safety noted.

Tracking success.

Ministers have also committed to regularly reviewing progress via the scorecard, which will track the timely implementation of high-quality polio outbreak response, introduce the novel oral polio vaccine type 2 (nOPV2) for broader use and transition polio assets into national health systems in a strategic, phased approach.

“Our success in ending wild poliovirus in the region shows what is possible when we work together with urgency”, said WHO Regional Director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti.

Since July 2020, almost 100 million African children have been vaccinated against polio.

While COVID-19 threatened this success, Dr. Moeti argued that it was possible to “overcome the final hurdles. We have the know-how, but it must be backed by committed resources to reach all under-vaccinated communities”.

Continuing progress.

Also discussed at the meeting supporting immunization and disease surveillance once polio is eradicated, which will be achieved by transitioning polio infrastructure into countries’ health systems.

The polio programme has a history of supporting the response to emerging health threats in the region, including Ebola and COVID-19, and half of polio surge staff are currently helping countries with COVID-19 surveillance, contact tracing and community engagement.

Dr. Tunji Funsho, chair of Rotary’s National PolioPlus Committee, Nigeria called for increased political and financial commitment by Governments and partners to “not only curb outbreaks swiftly, but to also scale up vaccination coverage and give children lasting protection against this preventable disease”.


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Video: WHO AFRO Wild Polio Free Anniversary: Survivors Share Their Hopes for a Polio Free World | GPEI.


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Mass vaccinations in Somalia should be steered by success of polio eradication campaign – Dr. Abdi Tari Ali | Trócaire | ReliefWeb.

[News and Press Release] [Source: Trócaire] [Posted: 25 Aug 2021] [Originally Published: 25 Aug 2021] [Origin: View original]

Dr. Abdi Tari Ali

A shortage of Covid-19 vaccines and vaccine resistance is threatening to collapse Somalia’s fragile healthcare system. Less than 1% of Somalians have been vaccinated but lessons can and should be learned from the polio eradication campaign, says Dr. Abdi Tari Ali, Deputy Director of Trócaire Somalia.

The vaccination rollout in Somalia is nowhere near European success rates – we have a limited supply and there is a growing vaccine resistance which is being driven by misinformation and a lack of public awareness.

Wealthy nations struck deals with vaccine manufacturers, securing a disproportionately large share of early supply, leaving vulnerable nations like ours in a more precarious situation. This has undermined COVAX (the system which aims to provide innovative and equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines in the developing world) ability to distribute shots equitably and has widened the vaccination gap between Africa and other parts of the world. Despite the challenges, COVAX has delivered more than 31 million doses to 46 countries in Africa, and it aims to supply 520 million doses to the continent by the end of 2021. According to the African Union (AU), Somalia received 716,000 doses but this is against a population of almost 16 million.

We need to borrow from lessons learned in mass vaccination campaigns such as the polio eradication campaign to make the rollout as effective as possible. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) estimates that vaccination efforts saved more than 1.5 million lives and prevented 16 million people from polio-induced paralysis. The success of the polio eradication campaign comes down to several key factors which can be adopted in Somalia’s Covid-19 vaccination efforts for an effective outcome.

The polio eradication campaign had a large team of trained community and health workers (vaccinators) available to reach as many children as possible and there was strong commitment and goodwill from the government, partners and health care workers throughout. The campaign integrated robust data systems and analysis which supported more accurate, data driven decision making in response efforts.

The incorporation of a strong monitoring network that reached urban and rural areas was geared towards first detecting acute flaccid paralysis in children, supported by testing to confirm diagnosis and identifying the target area for vaccination efforts.

What barriers are there to mass vaccinations in Somalia?

One of our biggest challenges in Somalia is a limited supply of vaccines – we need more vaccines. We need support to ensure we have enough healthcare workers in place to strengthen our vaccination efforts. We need support to promote uptake of the vaccines amongst hesitant communities. Only 35% of our supply has been administered so far – risk communications and community engagement activities implemented have not adequately dispelled misinformation on Covid-19 vaccination.

Covid-19 vaccines have a short shelf life and require ultra-cool storage – we don’t have enough refrigerators to store our limited supply. Each vaccines dose is a chance to save a life and we need to rebuild trust amongst our communities to inspire them to get vaccinated.

We need to develop a plan that decentralises our vaccination efforts – most vaccinations are happening in urban areas and are not targeting populations in hard-to-reach places. We need to end the control of vaccines by armed opposition groups. Somali people living in areas controlled by armed opposition groups (AOGs) will have to choose between taking the Covid-19 vaccine and other vaccines or face the risk of defying AOGs directives.

The AU, through the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT), has signed an agreement to purchase 220 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccine, with the potential to order an additional 180 million doses. It is expected that around 6 million will be delivered this August but funding to purchase doses through the AU facility remains a challenge for many countries like Somalia.

Covid-19 threatens to weaken the health care system further and exacerbate the effect of current crises, leading to more deaths and an increase in the number of people in need of assistance. As of 12 July 2021, Somalia reports a total of 16,103 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 864 deaths and 7,854 recoverieson top of the reduction in aid funding, threatens to exacerbate the humanitarian situation on the ground.

We are calling for a more equitable distribution of vaccines which we urgently need and an increase in bilateral supply to African states to prevent inequalities which will effectively delay global recovery efforts.

How did the global vaccine rollout go wrong in Africa?

With most African governments unable to buy vaccines themselves, they have relied on GAVI, the global vaccine alliance behind COVAX, to deliver vaccines for various illnesses, including Covid-19. However, wealthy nations secured a disproportionately large share of early supply. This has undermined the ability of COVAX to distribute shots equitably.

COVAX also depended on the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine producer, for its supply. However, with the soaring Covid-19 cases in India, vaccine exports were halted, disrupting COVAX efforts in 36 African countries.


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Pakistan: Assistant Commissioner Nasirabad Reviews Measures Of Upcoming Polio Drive | UrduPoint.

[Wed 25th August 2021] Umer Jamshaid writes:

QUETTA, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 25th Aug, 2021 ) :Assistant Commissioner (AC) Naseerabad Hudabia Jamali on Wednesday chaired a meeting to review measures for polio campaign.

DHO Naseerabad Dr. Abdul Manan Lakti, DSM PPHI Naseerabad Faisal Iqbal, WHO Dr. Sher Muhammad Information Department, AD Naik Mohammad and other District Officers were present in the meeting.

DHO Dr. Abdul Manan Lakti briefed the meeting in detail about the steps taken by the Health Department regarding the National Polio Eradication Campaign starting September 20-26.

He said that 462 teams have been formed to administrate polio drops to 128787 children under the age of five years, including 265 family teams who would go door to door to administer polio vaccines.

While 36 fixed centers and 30 Transit points have also been set up, he said and added in addition, this facility would also be available in EPI centers.

He said committees have also been formed to ensure targeting and monitoring of teams.

Addressing the gathering, AC Hudabia Jamali said every effort should be made to make the campaign a success.

She said nomad families of cold areas were being migrated to hot areas due to this the target of polio campaign would be increased in the areas. We all have to play our part honestly to make a polio-free society to be protected children from this deadly disease, she added.


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Trends and determinants of vaccination among children aged 06–59 months in Bangladesh: country representative survey from 1993 to 2014 | BMC Public Health.

[Open Access] [Received 05 November 2020; Accepted 29 July 2021; Published 21 August 2021]

Abstract.

Background.

Vaccination has important consequences for childhood development, mortality, and inequalities in health and well-being. This research explores the trend of vaccinations coverage from 1993 to 2014 and determines the significant factors for vaccinations coverage in Bangladesh, considering geospatial, socioeconomic, and demographic characteristics.

Methods.

This study uses a secondary dataset extracted from the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS) from 1992 to 93 to 2014. The association between selected independent variables and vaccination coverage of children was examined through the Chi-square test. In addition, unadjusted and adjusted logistic regression approaches were applied to determine the effects of covariates on vaccination status by using the BDHS-2014 dataset.

Results.

The results reveal that the trend of the vaccination coverage rate has gradually been increased over the study period. The coverage rate of BCG is observed maximum while the lowest for Measles vaccination among all types of vaccinations. The findings revealed that the significantly lower coverage of all vaccination had been observed in the Sylhet region. Children of higher educated mothers (OR 10.21; CI: 4.10–25.37) and father (OR 8.71; CI: 4.03–18.80), born at health facilities (OR 4.53; CI: 2.4–8.55) and whose mother has media exposure (OR 3.20; CI: 2.22–4.60) have more chance of receiving BCG vaccine. For DPT vaccination coverage, there is a significant difference from children whose mothers have primary (OR 1.7; CI: 1.35–2.15), secondary (OR 3.5; CI: 2.75–4.45), and higher (OR 9.6; CI: 5.28–17.42) educational qualification compared to children of illiterate mothers. Findings demonstrated that children born in wealthier households have a higher likelihood of being immunized against DPT, Polio, and Measles vaccination than children born in the poorest households.

Conclusions.

The findings reveal that to enhance and make sustainable the overall country’s vaccination coverage, we should pay more attention to the mother’s education, socioeconomic condition, children’s age, birth order number, having media exposure, place of residence, and religion. The authors think that this finding would be helpful to accelerate the achievement target of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for children’s health in Bangladesh.


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