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Pakistan: Week long special polio vaccination campaign to commence from October 26 | The Nation.

[October 09, 2020]

NAWABSHAH - As many as 3,32,637 children up to the age of five would be immunised against polio during the 7-day special polio vaccination campaign commencing from October 26 to Nov 01, 2020. 

Chairing a meeting of the District Polio Eradication Committee held on Thursday to review the arrangements for the polio campaign, Deputy Commissioner (DC) Abrar Ahmed Jaffar called for adopting all possible steps to vaccinate every child up to the age of five years throughout the district. Heavy responsibility lies on the shoulders of Polio teams to work with dedication and sincerely to protect children from lifelong disability, he said and directed all related departments to fully cooperate with the health department in this regard. 

He directed officials of local government, police, revenue and other concerned departments to attend the meetings convened to chalk out arrangements regarding anti-polio campaign at union council, tehsil and district level while in case of absence from the meetings, the staff and officials would face strict legal action.  The DC insisted on the training of polio teams, preparing better micro-plan and maintaining a cool chain of vaccines in order to ensure universal coverage of children. 

Briefing the meeting, District Health Officer (DHO) Shaheed Benazirabad Dr Yar Ali Jamali and focal person for polio Dr Allah Bux Rajpar said that 3,32,637 children of up to the age of five years would be administered polio drops and for the purpose 8,089 mobile teams, 70 fix teams, 52 transit and 19 SMT teams were formed while micro-plan had been prepared and training of teams had started. 

The meeting of District Polio Eradication Committee was attended by Regional Coordinator World Health Organisation (WHO) Dr Alam Azad, Technical Officer WHO Dr Waseem Mahar, Additional District Health Officer Dr Daulat Jamali, Population Welfare Officer Riaz Ahmed Shar, assistant commissioners of all tehsils of district SBA, officials of police, health and other concerned departments.


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Polio this week as of 07 October 2020 | ReliefWeb.

[News and Press Release] [Source: GPEI] [Posted: 9 Oct2020] [Originally Published: 7 Oct 2020] [Origin: View original]

  • From 30 August to 3 September, Somalia conducted an integrated measles and polio campaign in the Banadir region -- the first immunization campaign held since the COVID-19 pandemic reached Somalia. Take a look at our latest photo story detailing the campaign.

  • In preparation for Sudan's National Polio Campaign, 10 million doses of polio vaccines arrived on Thursday October 1st at Khartoum international Airport. Planned for October, the campaign will immunize 8.6 million children under the age of five.

  • On 19 September 2019, a polio outbreak was declared in the Philippines after a 3-year-old child and several environmental samples tested positive for polioviruses. Fifteen other children have been paralyzed by polio since the outbreak started. To protect children from lifelong paralysis due to polio, vaccination rounds have been conducted in parts of the country. Meet the #HeroesEndingPoliowho have been working to combat polio in the Philippines.

  • Summary of new WPV and cVDPV viruses this week (AFP cases and ES positives): - Afghanistan: Four WPV1 cases, eight cVDPV2 cases and two cVDPV2 positive environmental samples - Pakistan: 14 WPV1 positive environmental samples and 10 cVDPV2 positive environmental samples - Burkina Faso: six cVDPV2 cases - Chad: three cVDPV2 cases - Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo): one cVDPV2 positive environmental sample - Egypt: one cVDPV2 positive environmental sample - Somalia: three cVDPV2 positive environmental samples


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Podcast & Video: TWiV 670: Coronavirus vaccine preparedness with Kizzmekia Corbett | This Week in Virology.

[October 8, 2020]

Kizzmekia Corbett joins TWiV to review her career and her work on respiratory syncytial virus, influenza virus, and coronaviruses and coronavirus vaccines, including her role in development and testing of a spike-encoding mRNA vaccine, and then we review the Nobel Prize for discovery of hepatitis C virus.

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Rich ConditKathy Spindler and Brianne Barker

Guest: Kizzmekia Corbett

Watch 'virtual roundtable'; discussion on YouTube video [ 2:08:27]: https://youtu.be/UWm5lEyMgME

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Listen to Podcast via source article

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Download TWiV 670 (76 MB .mp3, 127 min)
Subscribe (free): iTunesGoogle PodcastsRSSemail

Become a patron of TWiV!

Links for this episode.

Weekly Science Picks.

Brianne – COVID-19 in Molecular Detail for Teaching
Kathy – Mars shining brightest since 2003
Rich – Lost Prologue
Vincent – Girl from Ipanema is weirder than you thought

Listener Pick.

Sandra – Learn Medical Research

Intro music is by Ronald Jenkees


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Opinion: Why It’s Premature to Declare Africa Free of Wild Polio | Undark Magazine.

[10.08.2020]

The rush to claim victory reflects the chasm between high-level rhetoric and the day-to-day realities on the ground.

Jordan Schermerhorn writes:

IN LATE AUGUST, the independent Africa Regional Certification Commission for Polio Eradication announced the elimination of wild poliovirus on the African continent. The last wild cases of the disease, which can cause debilitating paralysis and death, were found in the state of Borno in northeast Nigeria during the summer of 2016. Following a difficult few years in which the Global Polio Eradication Initiative suffered from a surge of cases in Pakistan and Afghanistan and the worldwide spread of cases associated with mutations of the polio vaccine, eliminating wild polio in Africa would be a stunning achievement and significant milestone. It now appears to be a done deal.

But an aerial view of Borno hints at why the story may not be so simple. Outside the walls of Maiduguri, the state’s capital city, lie a rugged and highly contested terrain that’s mostly inaccessible to health workers. Humanitarian hubs with camps for displaced citizens are largely accessible only by helicopter. In 2019, I worked with an international organization, REACH, to obtain data on the needs of people from these inaccessible areas in support of humanitarian response efforts. What I saw there contradicts the conclusions of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

I believe that given the extreme inaccessibility caused by conflict, low vaccination rates, and logistical constraints that limit disease surveillance in many parts of rural Africa — a situation only made worse by Covid-19 — the declaration that wild poliovirus has been eliminated from the continent is premature.

The rush to declare victory reflects the chasm between high-level rhetoric and the day-to-day reality of life in Nigeria.

[Continue reading in source article]

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Jordan Schermerhorn is a researcher working on infectious diseases in fragile states and conflict settings throughout sub-Saharan Africa.


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Strengthening National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups in resource-limited settings: current and potential linkages with polio national certification committees | Health Research Policy and Systems.

[Open Access] [Received 11 June 2020; Accepted 16 September 2020; Published 06 October 2020]

Abstract.

Background.

Countries are transitioning assets and functions from polio eradication to integrated immunization and surveillance activities. We assessed the extent of linkages between and perceptions of National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups (NITAGs) and National Certification Committees (NCCs) for polio eradication to understand how linkages can be leveraged to improve efficiencies of these expert bodies.

Methods.

During May 2017 to May 2018, we administered a 15-question survey to a NITAG chair or member and an NCC counterpart in all countries of the WHO Regions for Africa (AFR) and for the Eastern Mediterranean (EMR) that had both a NITAG and an NCC. Data were analysed using frequency distributions.

Results.

Of countries with both a NITAG and an NCC (n = 44), the response rate was 92% (22/24) in AFR and 75% (15/20) in EMR. Some respondents reported being very familiar with the functions of the other technical bodies, 36% (8/22) for NITAG members and 38% (14/37) for NCC members. Over 85% (51/59) of respondents felt it was somewhat useful or very useful to strengthen ties between bodies. Nearly all respondents (98%, 58/59) felt that NCC expertise could inform measles and rubella elimination programmes.

Conclusions.

We observed a broad consensus that human resource assets of NCCs may serve an important technical role to support national immunization policy-making. At this stage of the polio eradication initiative, countries should consider how to integrate the technical expertise of NCC members to reinforce NITAGs and maintain the polio essential functions, beginning in countries that have been polio-free for several years.


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Pakistan: Two more polio cases confirmed in Punjab | The News International.

[October 6, 2020] Amer Malik writes:

LAHORE: The rapid circulation of two existing strains of poliovirus – wild poliovirus and type-2 polio – in Punjab simultaneously have exposed children to the crippling disease as two more cases of wild poliovirus were confirmed in South Punjab on Monday.

The wild poliovirus cases have mostly been confirmed in South Punjab districts, while the cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) have mainly hit the children in the districts falling within the Faisalabad Division.

The confirmation of wild poliovirus among children in two South Punjab districts of Vehari and Dera Ghazi Khan on Monday raised the total number of such cases to 12 in Punjab in the year 2020 so far, while eight cases of type-2 polio have been reported in the Faisalabad Division to raise the number of type-2 polio cases to 11 in Punjab this year so far.

After the emergence of so many type-2 polio cases in The Faisalabad Division, the Punjab Polio Programme is forced to start a special polio campaign as a case response campaign in four districts of the Faisalabad Division Faisalabad, Chiniot, Jhang and Toba Tek Singh.

Earlier, according to details provided by the Punjab Polio Programme, the children, who have been affected with wild poliovirus on Monday, belong to Mailsi Tehsil of Vehari and DG Khan. “The wild poliovirus has affected 89-month-old child from Vehari in his left leg, while the virus has affected 22-month-old child from DG Khan in his right leg”, says a statement issued by the Punjab Polio Programme.

The spokesman of the Punjab Polio Programme informed that both children belong to poor families. “The father of the child from DG Khan is a mason, while the father of the child from Vehari is a peasant”, he said. As per reports available, he said, the affected child from Vehari has recovered to a great extent. He explained that, after developing weakness in left knee and ankle, the child has shown signs of recovery the following day. “Now the weakness in leg has been reduced to a mild limp,” he added.

Commenting on the new cases, Punjab Polio Programme Incharge Sundas Irshad reiterated that poliovirus transmission will be interrupted this year in December. “After a 5-month interruption due to COVID-19, monthly polio campaigns have been resumed to ensure that virus transmission is interrupted”, she said, adding: “We will ensure that every child receives two drops of polio in every campaign.”

Meanwhile, the Punjab Polio Programme intensified the anti-polio drive in the Faisalabad Division as it launched a special case response campaign due to rising cases of type-2 polio cases in four districts of Faisalabad, Chiniot, Jhang and Toba Tek Singh.

Sundas Irshad confirmed that the case response campaign has been launched to counter to rising polio cases in the four districts falling under the division. “More than 5,000 teams have been constituted to vaccinate over 2.5 million children in the campaign,” she said, adding that the polio teams have been deputed at major hospitals and bus stands to ensure every child receives polio drops.

“We can eradicate polio only if every child receives polio vaccination in every round of polio campaign leaving no room for the virus to survive,” she said, and requested parents to cooperate with polio teams and ensure vaccination of their children. It is worth-mentioning that more than 30 million children, including nearly 18 million in Punjab alone, were deprived of polio vaccines across Pakistan due to the cessation of anti-polio activities in late March because of the coronavirus pandemic. According to experts, the polio is a highly infectious disease caused by wild poliovirus, mostly affecting children under the age of five, which invades the nervous system and causes paralysis or even death.

Out of a total of 77 confirmed wild poliovirus cases in Pakistan this year so far, as many as 22 cases have been reported each in Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 21 in Balochistan and 12 in Punjab. Previously, a total of two wild poliovirus cases were confirmed in Punjab among overall 54 cases in 2015; no case was reported in Punjab among a total of 20 cases in 2016; one case was confirmed in Punjab among overall 8 cases in the country in 2017; none was reported in Punjab among 12 cases confirmed in 2018; and 12 cases were reported in Punjab among 147 cases confirmed in the country in 2019.

To add to this, 64 cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type-2 (cVDPV2) were confirmed across Pakistan in 2020 including 42 cases in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 11 in Punjab, 10 in Sindh and one in Balochistan.


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