World Polio Day: Polio remains endemic in three countries
New Delhi, Oct 24: World Polio Day was established by Rotary International over a decade ago to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk, who led the first team to develop a vaccine against poliomyelitis.
Use of this inactivated poliovirus vaccine and subsequent widespread use of the oral poliovirus, developed by Albert Sabin, led to the establishment of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in 1988. As of 2013, GPEI had reduced polio worldwide by 99%.
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The last case of polio in the region was in India in January 2011. Since January 2011, there have been no reported cases of the wild polio infections in India, and in February 2012 the country was taken off the WHO list of polio endemic countries. It was reported that if there are no cases of wild polio in the country for two more years, it would be declared as a polio-free country.
Who is Jonas Salk?
Jonas Salk was an American medical researcher and virologist. He discovered and developed one of the first successful polio vaccines. Until 1955, when the Salk vaccine was introduced, polio was considered one of the most frightening public health problems in the world.
WHO Model List of Essential Medicines
The WHO Model List of Essential Medicines (EML), published by the World Health Organization (WHO), contains the medications considered to be most effective and safe to meet the most important needs in a health system. Polio vaccination is listed in the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines.
The World Health Organization recommends all children be fully vaccinated against polio. The vaccines have eliminated polio from most of the world,and reduced the number of cases reported each year from an estimated 350,000 in 1988 to 22 in 2017.
NCC cadets take part in a Polio eradication awareness rally on World Polio Day, in Jabalpur, Wednesday, October 24, 2018. (PTI Photo)
The World Health Organization recommends all children be fully vaccinated against polio. The vaccines have eliminated polio from most of the world,and reduced the number of cases reported each y ear from an estimated 350,000 in 1988 to 22 in 2017.
People participate in a Polio eradication awareness rally on World Polio Day, in Jabalpur. PTI
Polio remains endemic
Polio remains endemic in three countries Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. Neighboring Pakistan is one of only three countries in the world with ongoing wild poliovirus transmission, alongside Afghanistan and Nigeria. The country is also affected by a circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2).
Until poliovirus transmission is interrupted in these countries, all countries remain at risk of importation of polio, especially vulnerable countries with weak public health and immunization services and travel or trade links to endemic countries.