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Philippines: Parents urged to have kids vaccinated after new polio cases in January | GMA News.

[February 4, 2020 4:08pm]

Health authorities have urged parents and guardians to cooperate in a polio vaccination drive that will be held in Mindanao and the National Capital Region (NCR).

Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio will be conducted in all regions of Mindanao from January 20 to February 2, as well as in Metro Manila from January 27 to February7.

The vaccination campaign intensifies with four new confirmed cases recorded in January, bringing the total cases to 16 across the country.

All new cases of polio are children below five years old from Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat in Mindanao, and Quezon City in NCR.

WHO Representative in the Philippines Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe said the vaccination drive should keep up the momentum to stop polio transmission in the country.

“Enhanced surveillance has enabled us to identify new cases; we must not leave any unvaccinated child behind,” Abeyasinghe said in a statement.

“We must continue this momentum and continue to work together to stop polio transmission in the Philippines,” he added.

In a joint statement, WHO and UNICEF said polio transmission can only be stopped if the immunization coverage reaches over 95% of the targeted children.

Since September 2019, the synchronized polio vaccination campaigns rolled out from November to December of 2019 have reached 1,404,517 children in NCR and 2,937,327 in Mindanao.

“We would like to congratulate the Department of Health, local government leaders and the health workers in Mindanao, including BARMM and NCR on their efforts for reaching 95% or more of the targeted children during the previous rounds,” Abeyasinghe said.

The UNICEF also is working with DOH, WHO and other partners to boost vaccination coverage.

“Despite the promising coverage, the circulating poliovirus still pose tremendous risk to children, until one child remains infected and not fully vaccinated,” UNICEF Philippines Representative Oyun Dendevnorov said.

“Polio has no cure; complete vaccination offers the only chance to protect our children and to eliminate polio from the Philippines once again,” he added. — Joviland Rita/BM, GMA News

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UNICEF Whole of Syria - Humanitarian Situation Report (1 January - 31 December 2019) | UN Children's Fund via ReliefWeb.

[04 Feb 2020]

Published on 31 Dec 2019

Situation in Numbers.

5,000,000 children in need of humanitarian assistance

11,700,000 people in need

6,183,919 Internally displaced people (IDPs)

490,000 Children in need in hard-toreach areas

(source: OCHA HNO, March 2019)


  • After nine years of conflict, humanitarian needs in Syria remained extensive. The disruption of basic services and destruction of vital infrastructure continued to impede humanitarian assistance and the safe return of displaced people—particularly in the northwest, where an estimated three-quarters of people in need are women and children.

  • In 2019, UNICEF ensured the provision of safe drinking water for over 4.7 million people—including 2 million children—through the rehabilitation of water systems and wells, provision of equipment, installation of water systems, routine maintenance and operations.

  • Despite ongoing hostilities and challenges in accessing hard to reach areas, over half a million children under one year were vaccinated with DTP3 and over 3 million children were immunized with polio.

  • UNICEF’s Whole of Syria response faced a 27 per cent funding gap by end year. Additional flexible funding is needed in 2020 to ensure vulnerable children and families continue to receive life-saving humanitarian assistance.


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UK: Innovative home adaptation takes place to facilitate enhanced mental wellbeing for man with polio | AT Today.

[3rd February 2020]

Closomat Palma Vita image

Thinking outside the box in delivery of the best practical solution for a client has led to a home adaptation being achieved in an unusual space – a hall cupboard.

Sarah Sarsby writes:

Eddy Jarvis, 62, contracted polio as a five-year-old and lived a full life, working as a painter and decorator until four years ago when the polio returned. It limited him to a bed or wheelchair and meant he was unable to access the bedroom and bathroom upstairs in his London town house.

A short-term solution was to turn the front room into a bedroom and provide a commode to address his toilet needs.

However, optimum outcome management was achieved via assessment by his local occupational therapy team in conjunction with Closomat. This resulted in a more appropriate, long-term solution: conversion of a large cupboard in the hall into a wetroom, with a shower and Palma Vita wash & dry toilet with plinth and touch sensitive hand switch.

“Eddy has limited dexterity,” explained Closomat Product Specialist Paul Franklin. “The addition of a touch sensitive hand switch enables him to operate the Closomat without help from his wife, which is a big concern for him. Thus his clinical need was resolved, and his mental wellbeing simultaneously enhanced.”

Eddy commented: “It is the best toilet I have ever had. It makes you feel so clean. It just makes sense, that washing will be cleaner than wiping. It has been a big help: without it, I would have had to ask my wife to clean me, and that’s not fair on, or nice for, her.”

The Closomat is the only toilet of its kind manufactured in Britain and designed specifically for disabled people. The Palma Vita can be accessorised to accommodate individual needs, initially and retrospectively as needs change, so the client continues to be able to operate it, even if their dexterity and mobility declines.

Closomat can also offer in-house client care and support, both pre- and post-installation, including full service and maintenance packages. Full details of its products and services can be found on its website

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Infographic: Pakistan Polio Update (December 2019) | GPEI & Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme via ReliefWeb.

[Published on 03 Feb 2020 —View Original]



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Coverage rates of the children vaccination programme in Greenland | International Journal of Circumpolar Health.

[Open Access] [Received 19 Oct 2019, Accepted 06 Jan 2020, Published online: 31 Jan 2020]


In order to estimate the current coverage rate among all children in Greenland, we conducted an observational cross-sectional study identifying all children in Greenland eligible for a vaccination between 1 March 2018 and 16 June 2019. we found an overall national coverage of 85.4%. The national coverage for the vaccinations given at birth was 97.1%, dropping to 94.3%, 87.7% and 83.6% at ages 3, 5 and 12 months. Among children eligible for the Measles, Mumps and Rubella-vaccinations, the national coverage was 76.9% for children aged 15 months and 64.1% for children aged 4 years, but dropping to 40.9% in the districts. At preschool, the national coverage was 79.9%. Among the 12-year-old, the national coverages of the two vaccinations against Human Papilloma Virus were 88.4% and 71.6%, respectively, and for the three Hepatitis B-vaccinations 89.8%, 84.1% and 69.6%. A subgroup-analysis and test of an SMS-reminder system in Nuuk improved the coverage from 57.8% to 75.5% locally. Overall, we found a high national coverage rate among the newborn in Greenland. The national coverage rates of the remaining vaccinations were below the WHO-recommendations, however with great regional differences.

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Pakistan: Polio peril | Editorial | The News International.

[February 3, 2020]

In Pakistan, polio is not only a disease that has crippled millions of people over the decades and claimed lives, but also a problem that has led to the death of at least 160 polio workers or their guards since 2012. The targeting of polio workers originates in the myth that the vaccines are a Western propaganda intended to sterilize Muslims; the suspicion also links back to a 2011 hepatitis campaign in which a false vaccine drive was run to gather information on Osama bin Laden and possibly collect DNA from him. Now two more polio workers have fallen to this curse. In the Swabi district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa near Parmoli village, the women were shot dead, reportedly by unknown men on motorcycles as they returned home from the day’s work. A new polio drive is being run in KP, from where the largest number of cases was reported in 2019 and the ongoing campaign cut short after fake videos alarmed people into refusing to have children vaccinated. In this latest case of violence, one of the women died instantly, while the other passed away at the Lady Reading Hospital where she was taken.

The two young women become new martyrs in the crusade against polio. Like others before them, they died in the line of duty and in an effort to save the country’s children from a terrible disease. The incident occurred in a relatively remote part of Swabi, where the local administration members say there are many unguarded roads and corridors. However, this is also a high-security area and police say it had been cordoned off. If this was indeed the case, it is difficult to understand how the killers were able to escape. There have been contradictory accounts from police, local administration officials and others. Some say the polio team was accompanied by police guards, others say there were none as they had been sent out with other teams and there are also reports that the policemen were present but failed to shoot back at the killers. All this is disturbing. The death of the women is in itself a tragedy.

Pakistan had stood at the brink of eradicating polio till 2018 when 12 cases were reported during the year. For 2019, about 140 cases were reported and in 2020, at least six cases have been noted already, four in Sindh and one each in KP and Balochistan. There is also concern about the cases in 2019 which arose from the vaccine itself. This number has now been recorded at 22 by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, which monitors polio worldwide. Pakistan and its neighbour Afghanistan are the only two countries in the world which have failed to eradicate polio. The attacks on workers contribute to the problem by creating alarm with communities and drawing attention to the efforts of extremist groups who oppose polio vaccination. Last year, a National Strategic Advisory Group had been set up to monitor and overcome the problem. The focal person for polio at the time, Babar bin Atta had been dismissed amidst claims that he was responsible for mismanagement. But the new strategy headed by the Prime Minister’s advisor Dr. Zulfiqar Mirza does not seem to be proceeding along better lines either. The problem is an immense one and as workers are killed, more children face the peril of polio and a life of permanent paralysis.

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