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An online news cutting service that specialises in news relating to polio and post-polio issues; disability and other health-related issues may also be covered.
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Pakistan: Government, Civil Society Urged To Join Hands To Eradicate Polio From Pakistan | UrduPoint.

[02nd February 2020] Umer Jamshaid writes:

PESHAWAR, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 2nd Feb, 2020 ) :Chairman Mehboob Medical Institute Dr. Mehboob-ur-Rehman urged upon the government and civil society to join hands to eradicate polio from Pakistan as the polio virus has been spread once again and more than hundred children have been victims in the last year in 2019.

Talking to APP, Dr. Mehboob Ur Rehman said that his initiative for the polio affected children was started on February 3, 1989 by establishing Physio-care Free Polio Clinic in Habib Physiotherapy Complex and since then hundreds of polio affected children were treated and rehabilitated at this clinic.

"We also arranged free polio camps in different districts all across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which made awareness and also helped in rehabilitation of children. A year or two back it was assumed that Pakistan will be declared free polio country but unfortunately in 2019 once again the situation is worsen and now it is a responsibility of civil society and government that they should come and join hands for the eradication of polio from Pakistan.

The assistance of our organization is still continued and in 1997 with the establishment of Habib Physiotherapy Complex recently our success story for polio survivor Shahpari, an afghan refugee girl have been published by UNHCR, "Shahpari journey of resilience and courage".

"We rehabilitation her and help in education in our institute Mehboob Medical Institute and she got BSc Physiotherapy degree and now she is looking after her life in a dignified way besides caring other," Dr. Mehboob Ur Rehman added.

"We have more focused on the rehabilitation as we also added the provision of assistive devices, artificial appliances and now with the addition of Mehboob Medical Institute we also focused on the research for prevention of disability where I have been able to design and invent a research based tool, Mehboob power evaluation and therapeutic chart, which is around the world got recognition," he informed.

"Mehboob Power Evaluation and Therapeutic Chart, is a research based tool which is helpful in rehabilitation of polio affected children," he said, adding, "It is not only used in country but also at international level, it has been implemented." It was presented in international conference at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and it have been uploaded by Polio Health International on its website while placing me polio health expert from Pakistan in Post polio directory, which is also available on dozen of websites on Google, so internationally recognized, he further added.

Habib Physiotherapy Complex, he said, still offers treatment, rehabilitation and assistive devices for these children and as with coordination with government to provide assistances to the new identified cases of 2019 and 2020.

"We highly appreciate the government and international organization as WHO for prevention measures but there is need to evolve a mechanism for the proper rehabilitation, education and skill development for these children to avoid them to be beggars in future and being crippled for their whole life. We are here to assist the government and international organization for any of such initiative, Dr. Mehboob concluded.


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Malaysia: 34,000 children in Tawau targeted for free polio vaccination | Malay Mail.

[Saturday, 01 Feb 2020]

TAWAU, Feb 1 — The Health Office here is targeting about 34,000 children, both citizens and non-citizens, for free polio immunisation between January and March.

Tawau Health Officer Dr G. Navindran said 43 per cent, about 14,000 children in several areas including Pulau Sebatik had received the immunisation since January 21.

“The Oral polio vaccine (OPV) immunisation will go through two phases with the first from January 21 to Feb 21 and the second phase from February 22 to March 21,” he told reporters at the launch of Tawau-level Sabah Polio Immunisation Campaign in Kampung Titingan which was officiated by Apas assemblyman Datuk Nizam Abu Bakar Titingan here, today.

Nizam said the initiative to give the vaccine reflects the government’s concern to ensure the health of the people.

He also advised parents who have not had their children immunised, to meet with health officials either during the campaign or at the hospital to get free polio vaccination for their children. — Bernama


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Nigeria: Enugu recorded 100% success on polio immunisation — PHCDA | Vanguard Newspapers.

[FEBRUARY 1, 2020 1:55 PM]

The Enugu State Government has said that it recorded 100 per cent success in the just-concluded Sub-National Immmisation Plus Days meant for polio vaccination.

Dr. George Ugwu, the Executive Secretary of Enugu State Primary Health Care Development Agency (ENS-PHCDA), disclosed this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria in Enugu on Saturday.

NAN recalls that the Enugu State Government had targeted no fewer than one million children between the ages of Zero and 59 months.

The statewide exercise, which was scheduled for four days, was held from Jan. 18 until Jan. 21.

Ugwu, however, said that the agency had to add additional two days for mop-up in areas that failed to achieve 100 per cent target to ensure that no child was left out in the statewide polio vaccination.

“This time the Sub-National Immunisation Plus Days we just-concluded was very successful. I can categorically say we recorded 101 per cent even exceeding the numerical mathematical 100 per cent.

“Our national supervisors, partners, and other stakeholders were so impressed with the success and vast reach of our immunisation teams during the exercise.

“The national supervisors were particularly impressed with our overwhelming improvement in the last exercise and they lauded Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for his uncompromising support to healthcare matters especially vaccination exercises,’’ he said.

According to him, the agency remains grateful for the huge support from Gov. Ugwuanyi even as international funding for the exercise continues to dwindle.

Ugwu, who said that the state had been without polio for the past 11 years, noted that the agency would continue to maintain its polio-free status.

“Agency will not relent in keeping Enugu State polio-free even as the state would join the rest of the country to get the international polio-free certification soon,’’ he said.

He said that part of the success could be attributed to the renewed enthusiasm among local government vaccination officials/teams to compete with each other and outdo each other in their reach and target of the children to be immunised.

The ENS-PHCDA boss, however, thanked UNICEF, WHO, and other partners for their training and technical support towards the huge success of the exercise.


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Scientists Develop Effective, Safer And Less Costly Polio Vaccine | Medical Dialogues.

[1 Feb 2020] Hina Zahid writes:

Bethesda, Md. – As the world nears poliovirus eradication, the vaccines themselves have become the greatest threat. In response to global demand for an effective, safer-to-handle and less costly polio vaccine.

Scientists at the Uniformed Services University (USU) have developed a new Polio vaccine one that could help secure a polio-free world. The promising results of research, "A Novel Gamma Radiation-Inactivated Sabin-Based Polio Vaccine," have been published in PLOS ONE.

In developing countries, the live Sabin oral polio vaccine (OPV) has generally been used because it has been more cost-effective than the injectable, inactivated polio vaccine (IPV). Now, both OPV and IPV are becoming tricky because children vaccinated with OPV can shed paralysis-causing mutant polioviruses, and because the manufacture of IPV uses deadly, "wild" viruses that are a biosecurity threat. Therefore, in a call to action, the World Health Organization (WHO) has urged the scientific research community to develop safer polio vaccines, ideally based on the use of inactivated "killed" Sabin viruses since they are much safer to handle than the "wild" viruses used in IPV production. The researchers believe this could lead to the production of a safer, less costly injectable polio vaccine.

In response to the WHO request, researchers from USU and BMI, Inc., led by Dr. Michael J. Daly, professor of Pathology at USU, and Dr. Gregory J. Tobin, president of BMI, Inc., applied a synthetic Deinococcus manganese-antioxidant, developed by Daly and his USU team, to the Sabin virus. Then they exposed the Sabin virus to large doses of gamma radiation. The Mn-antioxidant, in turn, preserved the virus protein "shell," making the killed Sabin virus vaccine highly protective against polioviruses when injected into animals.

"We have also successfully applied this radiation vaccine approach against alphaviruses, like chikungunya virus and Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, as well as deadly bacteria like the 'superbug' MRSA, for which there are still no licensed vaccines, " Daly said.

"Equally important to WHO goals is the cost associated with vaccine production," Tobin emphasized. "The gamma radiation-killed Sabin vaccine is prepared in just hours, whereas killing polioviruses with formaldehyde takes weeks and doesn't work well on Sabin viruses."

This project was supported by a Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) grant and National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to Dr. Tobin. The team included Drs. Chumakov and Kouiavskaia at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Dr. Meeks at DTRA.

For more details click on the link: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0228006


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Pakistan: Section-144 imposed in Swat in wake of attack on polio team | Pakistan Observer.

[February 1, 2020]

Staff Reporter.

Peshawar.

The Administration Friday imposed Section-144 in Swabi in the wake of attack on polio vaccination team after which pillion riding has been banned in the district.

According to a notification issued from the deputy commissioner’s office, Section-144 has been imposed in the district due to security concerns during the ongoing vaccination campaign.

A police spokesman said the district police officer has strictly directed to make sure that the ban on pillion riding and display of arms is implemented strictly. Those violating the rule will face strict action. Police has appealed to the people of the district to cooperate for ensuing law and order.

On Wednesday, two women polio workers, it may be recalled ,were killed in firing by unidentified armed men in Swabi. Polio vaccination campaign was temporarily suspended in the area after the attack.

However, on Thursday, the campaign was restored with enhanced security for the vaccinators. The campaign was also affected as some of the polio workers were reluctant to go for duty owing to security concerns. They were demanding adequate security measures for the vaccinators during the campaign to save them from attacks.

Deputy Commissioner Shahid Mehmood held consultations with the police and health officials and formed a new strategy to continue the vaccination campaign. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Inspector General Police Sanaullah Abbasi was also given a briefing about the security of the campaigners, normal, sensitive and most sensitive regions in the district and the previous operations conducted against terrorists in the Razaar tehsil of Swabi where the attack on polio team happened on Wednesday.

Security measures for vaccinators in other parts of KP were also increased after the Swabi incident.

In the meanwhile, the provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has formed a three-member committee to investigate the murder of two women polio workers.


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Pakistan: Four new cases of polio detected in Sindh, Punjab | DAWN.

[February 01, 2020] Ikram Junaidi writes:

ISLAMABAD: Another four cases of polio, two each in Sindh and Punjab, have been found, an official of the National Institute of Health told Dawn. The samples of the patients were taken and referred to NIH last year.

“A five-year-old boy, a resident of Deenpur union council (UC), Thull tehsil, Jacobabad district, became paralysed due to poliovirus.

The other victim is a 48-month-old boy, a resident of Phulladyon UC, Sindhri tehsil, Mirpurkhas district,” the official said, requesting anonymity.

“The children paralysed by poliovirus in Punjab are both girls and they belong to the same district and UC. They are four and 10 months old, residents of Aali Wala UC, D.G. Khan tehsil, ” he said.

When contacted by Dawn, National Coordinator Emergency Operation Centre for Polio Dr Rana Safdar confirmed that four new cases had been detected.

“As we consider the date of collection of the samples for placing the cases in the year, all four cases have been placed in 2019 and the tally for the year has reached 144,” he said.

Dr Safdar said that so far seven cases had been confirmed in 2020 and the last case for the current year was reported from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The patient is an 18-month-old girl, a resident of Abba Khel UC, Lakki Marwat tehsil, he added.


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