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Pakistan: 5-day anti-polio drive from Sept 21 | The Nation.

[September 09, 2020]

KASUR - A five-day anti-polio drive will commence from September 21 across the district with the target to vaccinate 6,44,660 children of ages five and below. A meeting led by Deputy Commissioner (DC) Kasur, Manzar Javed was held on Tuesday to review the arrangements. Focal person for polio Ramzan Shahid briefed the meeting that as many as 6,44,660 children would be administrated anti-polio drops with the help of 1,429 teams comprising 3,262 polio-workers. The DC directed concerned officials to launch engaging awareness campaign among the masses and highlight the benefits of polio vaccination. Besides others, Assistant Commissioner (AC) Anam Zaid, CEO Health Dr Mubasher Latif, CEO Education Naheed Wasif, District Population Welfare officer Israr Ahmed, Deputy DHO Dr Mansoor Ashraf, District Coordinator Dr Samra Khurram attended the meeting.

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UNICEF and partners support the subnational polio immunization campaign in rural Damascus | ReliefWeb.

[News and Press Release] [Source: UNICEF] [Posted: 9 Sep 2020] [Originally Published: 9 Sep 2020] [Origin: View original]

Jana, 4, receives her polio vaccine at a UNICEF-supported health centre in Zakya, Rural Damascus. © UNICEF/Syria/2020/Shahan
Jana, 4, receives her polio vaccine at a UNICEF-supported health centre in Zakya, Rural Damascus. © UNICEF/Syria/2020/Shahan

Health services continue despite COVID-19 challenges, supported by UNICEF.

Rural Damascus, Syria, 23 August 2020 – In rural Damascus, UNICEF and partners continue to tirelessly provide children with critical vaccines despite all challenges caused by the COVID19 pandemic.

One example is Zakya town, a home for around 40,000 people, including many displaced families. The passionate local health workers at the town’s health centre have braved years of conflict and never stopped providing children with health care and vaccines.

Last month, a new subnational polio immunization campaign came at a time when the risk of missing out on life-saving vaccinations among children had increased due to the prevailing fear from contracting the coronavirus.

During the five-day subnational polio immunization campaign, UNICEF provided oral polio vaccines to around 23,000 children under five years in 13 fixed centres and through 92 mobile health teams in Rural Damascus, thanks to a generous contribution by the UK Department of International Development (DFID), the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and Gavi, the vaccine alliance.

UNICEF supported the campaign through the provision of vaccines and cold chain equipment, including solar power refrigerators to ensure the safety of vaccines under all circumstances. Prior to the campaign, UNICEF-supported volunteers also went door-to-door informing families of the dates and locations of the campaign, answering their questions about the safety and importance of vaccines, and distributing informative brochures. Volunteers also engaged community leaders, school principals and caregivers in awareness raising sessions to encourage them to advocate for the campaign. Children also took part in fun activities, all designed around polio and the importance of protecting against it.

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Ghana: Ashanti Region record 8 polio cases in 6 districts | Joy Online.

[9 September 2020 2:47pm] [Source: Ohemeng Tawiah]

The Ashanti Region has recorded eight polio cases in six districts, more than any region in the country since the beginning of this year.

The cases, all vaccine-derived polio virus Type Two represent more than 80 per cent of 12 cases recorded nationwide.

Though health authorities will not give details of affected districts, they say the situation calls for public support as it rolls out an ambiguous three-day immunisation programme targeting about 1.2 million children under five-years.

Video: "Polio Vaccination: Exercise begins September 10 in Ashanti Region [06:16]

“The Ashanti Region recently recorded in six districts in what we call vaccine-derived poliovirus Type Two. And in accordance with established protocol, the region, together with other regions in the country would be embarking on massive polio immunization exercise,” Deputy Regional Health Director in charge of Public Health, Dr Yaw Ofori  Yeboah told the media in Kumasi.

The situation has prompted health authorities to roll out a three-day immunisation programme across the Region from September 10 to 13.

Dr. Yaw Ofori Yeboah www.myjoyonline.comDr. Yaw Ofori Yeboah is Deputy Ashanti Regional Health Director

Deputy Regional Health Director in charge of Public Health, Dr. Yaw Ofori  Yeboah  asked parents to avail their children under 5-years  for administration of safe vaccine in all 43-districts of the Ashanti region.

“The focus would be for children under the age of five-years. In Ashanti region, we would be targeting 1,184,860 children aged below five-years.”

The affected districts are said to be areas noted for low immunization and insanitary conditions.

Dr. Ofori Yeboah admits the  advent of Covid-19  which has affected routine health services in the region could be blamed for the situation.

He want all hands on deck to kick start the immunization exercise.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation says some polioviruses have been discovered in Greater Accra and Eastern region.

Immunization Officer, Fred Osei Sarpong revealed poliovirus were found in environmental sewage in those areas and speak of investigations into the virus.

“What we are also doing is aside from the fact that the virus can infect an individual and get that individual paralyzed; the virus is usually in the environment so, in order to satisfy ourselves that we don’t have the virus with us,  we do pick samples  from environmental sewage, send to the lab and then we test.”

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Case of Poliomyelitis Caused by Significantly Diverged Derivative of the Poliovirus Type 3 Vaccine Sabin Strain Circulating in the Orphanage | Viruses.

[Open Access] [Received: 6 August 2020 / Revised: 26 August 2020 / Accepted: 28 August 2020 / Published: 1 September 2020]


Significantly divergent polioviruses (VDPV) derived from the oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) from Sabin strains, like wild polioviruses, are capable of prolonged transmission and neuropathology. This is mainly shown for VDPV type 2. Here we describe a molecular-epidemiological investigation of a case of VDPV type 3 circulation leading to paralytic poliomyelitis in a child in an orphanage, where OPV has not been used. Samples of feces and blood serum from the patient and 52 contacts from the same orphanage were collected twice and investigated. The complete genome sequencing was performed for five polioviruses isolated from the patient and three contact children. The level of divergence of the genomes of the isolates corresponded to approximately 9–10 months of evolution. The presence of 61 common substitutions in all isolates indicated a common intermediate progenitor. The possibility of VDPV3 transmission from the excretor to susceptible recipients (unvaccinated against polio or vaccinated with inactivated poliovirus vaccine, IPV) with subsequent circulation in a closed children’s group was demonstrated. The study of the blood sera of orphanage residents at least twice vaccinated with IPV revealed the absence of neutralizing antibodies against at least two poliovirus serotypes in almost 20% of children. Therefore, a complete rejection of OPV vaccination can lead to a critical decrease in collective immunity level. The development of new poliovirus vaccines that create mucosal immunity for the adequate replacement of OPV from Sabin strains is necessary.

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Could Frida Kahlo Have Had Antiphospholipid Syndrome? | Reumatología Clínica.

[Pay to View Full Text] [Recibido 03 junio 2020; Aceptado 21 julio 2020; Disponible online el 3 de Septiembre de 2020]


Frida Kahlo's medical history shows sequelae of polio, a severe traumatic event that caused multiple fractures and a penetrating pelvic injury, as well as a history of countless surgeries. In her biographical accounts and her works, chronic disabling pain always appears for long periods. Besides, a chronic foot ulcer, gangrene that required amputation of the right leg, a history of abortions, and a positive Wasserman reaction suggest that the artist could have suffered from antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (APS).


La historia clínica de Frida Kahlo muestra secuelas de polio, un evento traumático grave que causó múltiples fracturas y una lesión penetrante de pelvis, así como historia de incontables cirugías. En sus recuentos biográficos y en sus obras, siempre aparece dolor crónico incapacitante por largos periodos. Además, una úlcera crónica del pie, gangrena que requirió la amputación de la pierna derecha, la historia de abortos y una reacción de Wasserman positiva sugieren que la artista podría haber padecido síndrome antifosfolipídico (SAF).

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A big job for someone... | News and comment from Roy Lilley.

[9th September 2020]

Prof Van Tam has an ominous presence on web-cam.

He engulfs his laptop screen. The foreshortening effect of his web-cam threatens a snort of fire and brimstone. 

V-T makes the mistake a lot of us make. He peers down, into his camera. 

Tip; raise the lap-top up, on a pile of books. Get the camera in line with your eye-line and you'll look human.

  • For advice on how to avoid basic video conferencing mistakes, there’s a free download, here.

The Prof was on the Beeb, trashing HMG’s hopes of covid-calm. The numbers are going north.

V-T was telling us, we’ve relaxed and we will all go to hell in a hand-cart if we don’t shape up. 

V-T is a Territorial Army Soldier. My mind wandered to a windswept parade ground at Sandhurst. V-T peering down at me, from beneath the slashed peek on his regimental cap. Screaming; ‘You horrible little covid-spreader, you’re confined to barracks!’

In fact, I have ventured out only three times. 

Here’s my report; 

  • Social distancing is a distant memory, masks are little more than a fashion accessory, shops have variable compliance; poor to none. Pubs are mostly covid-traps for the trusting.

So, I’m not going out any more. I’ve come this far and I’m not going to gamble seven months lock-down against numpties, ‘wot’s been clubbin’.

Anyway, we’ll all be banged up by Christmas.

Remember this...

Covid started with one person bringing it here. When and where from... dunno. Probably a returning holiday maker from Italy. 

We didn’t do the one thing most other countries can’t do. 

We are an island and we should and could, have pulled up the drawbridge.

BoJo dithered, didn’t take it seriously and now, from one person we’ve had thousands of deaths, a wrecked economy and chaos in the jobs market.

The Covid graph is accelerating upwards. Local circling-the-wagons, is not the answer. It takes one person to be careless, leave the circle, go to work on pubic transport and Covid will pop up someplace else.

Local lock-downs will become regional lock downs and from there…

... my advice; get yer Xmas shopping done now. Make sure you can get a turkey from Tesco, delivered. And, don’t forget a bottle of Advocaat for Gran’s snowball. 

This is a mess and it's time to do what all good managers do when they are facing complexity. 

Stop, take stock. 

What we are doing now was ok when we first did it. Most of what we are doing now is not going to work for the future.

HMG's Covid response is like a coral reef. Somehow it went from a little thing into a huge pile. Layer on layer. Guidance heaped on guidance. Now, the reef is starting to bleach, get brittle and fall apart because the climate has changed.

Where we are now is simply not where we were. All new policy is predicated on the success of Test and Trace. It is not a success. We either fix it, or change the policies. 

I cannot be critical of the people running T&T. It's simply a model based on out-of-date assumptions, techoligies and become a confusion; staff come and go, revolving leadership, unrealistic targets, unplanned expansion and demand. Now, the distraction of an entirely unnecessary merger.

  • People can't all get to an Ikea car park,
  • Amazon haven't delivered, flawlessly. 
  • Lab’s haven't turned stuff around fast enough. 
  • Capacity doesn't match the geography of demand. 
  • The public are not playing the game. 

This is unravelling.

Now, the imperative is to test schools, NHS staff, shop-workers, pubs, clubs, shoppers, care workers, transport staff, every week...

There are four things to fix…

  • The Downs–Thomson paradox; increasing supply increases demand. Increasing test availability will give more positives. How are we supposed to react? Is the policy to test to enable more policies? If so, what are they?

  • Labs will always be a pinch point. Especially if we are to test millions. It's urgent to switch to tests that don’t need a lab and can be self administered. Flex to match the moving geography of demand... put testing in vans. Hundreds of them. 

  • Make employers responsible for testing their own people, weekly. Schools, hospitals, uni’s, shops, factories. Provide the tests, free. At the first sign of trouble, send people home and tell the local PH team.

  • Create proper, covid safe premises. Health and Safety Executive; recruit an army of inspectors, advisors, retirees and volunteers. Award Covid-Safe stickers. Display them in shop windows. Give certificates for employers to display in the workplace. Create confidence that places are trained, organised and accountably safe.

Managing complexity means managing a system. We don't have a system. We are immersed in confusion... muddling through, inelegantly.

Well-meaning attempts to fix the problems with targets and bravado have made things worse.

Stop and think...

The technical problems are easily fixed. Now, it's the public relations bit. Everyone being part of the solution, trust, confidence and compliance... because they can, want to and know they are doing the right thing for us, them and their families.

It's a big job for someone...
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