It’s World Polio Day!

This is courtesy of Global Poverty Project; please feel free to share so that we can make our world a safer place to live:
It’s october 24th , the global community shines a spotlight on this issue, reminding us all that polio is still a problem while also celebrating the incredible progress that has been achieved against this disease.
Every week it seems we are getting closer and closer to wiping out polio. Just think about everything that has happened over the past year: India and Angola both stopped the virus, Pakistan has seen a 60% reduction in cases and polio case numbers globally have dropped to record-beating lows.
Of course we should remember that even one case is one too many. Each number is a person – usually a child under five – who has been paralysed or died as a result of this disease.
And that’s why it’s important that we remind those around us that polio still exists and that there is still more to do.
In a recent survey conducted by Rotary International, 44% of respondents were completely unaware that polio remains a serious issue.

Polio Eradication: Bauchi earmarks N66m to immunize two million children

This is courtesy of Daily Trust Newspaper:
Bauchi State government has earmarked the sum of over N66 million for the 2012 polio immunization exercise targeting two million children in all the 20 local governments of the state.
The executive secretary of the State Primary Health Care Development Agency [SPHCDA] Dr Nisser Aliyu Umar disclosed this yesterday while briefing newsmen on the preparations made by the Agency for the exercise.

He explained that the money has been expended on the procurement of polio vaccines, payment of the immunization officers and the purchase of detergents that will be distributed to the parents who avail their children for immunization.

Umar explained that six local governments areas of the state comprising ,Gamawa, Bauchi, Ningi, Katagum, Shira and Misau are high risk areas adding that the Agency targets about 2 million children under the age of 5 years for this year’s immunization.

The Secretary noted that the state at present has only three cases of the Polio as against the year 2009 when it recorded about 37 cases of polio in communities across the state.

Umar revealed that the reduction was as a result of the steps taken by the state government to eradicate the plague through regular vaccinations.

He urged parents to contribute towards the success of the exercise by allowing their wards to be immunized saying the polio vaccine has no harmful effects on children.

Polio Eradication in Kano State – Kwankwaso fires dozens of officials handling Polio immunization

Another news piece on Polio courtesy of Daily Trust Newspaper:
Dozens of officials handling polio immunization in Kano State have been fired because they were using the exercise as a “money-making venture”, Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso has said.
Speaking on Saturday during the launch of a new phase of the polio immunisation exercise, the governor said he directed the replacement of all managerial officers because they were found to be engaged in corruption thereby retarding the anti-polio campaign.
Kwankwaso did not give a specific number of the officials affected, but he said they were of the level of director downwards at the state level as well as immunisation officers of the 44 local government areas.
Polio is surging in parts of the North, after years of efforts to eradicate it appeared to be working. Stakeholders in the campaign, which receives international donor funding, last year set 2013 as end date for the disease.
But experts are skeptical of this dateline, as polio stages a comeback in Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Bauchi and other states in the North.
Kwankwaso said he was worried that efforts to eradicate polio were not yielding the desired success.
He said there were still pockets of rejection of the polio vaccine in parts of the state, and warned that his administration will take measures to enforce the immunisation to save vulnerable children.
Nigeria is among the only three polio-endemic nations in the world, the others being Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Years of campaign to eradicate the disease in Nigeria were sabotaged by suspicion of vaccine contamination in 2004, which led to massive boycott of immunisation.
The rejections have waned in many places, and over the past two years stakeholders were upbeat on the eradication process.
But this year has seen many new infections in several states of the North.

Polio Eradication: “a Global Public Health Emergency”!

The 65th WHA has declared Polio eradication a “Global Public Health Emergency” the statement is weighty, Here’s a quick summary of the implications of the World Health Assembly’s Resolution:
1.) Polio eradication has reached a tipping point. While the world is more than 99% of the way towards eradicating the disease, a funding shortfall has already caused vaccination activities to have been cut back – putting vulnerable communities at risk from the disease.
2.) If we fail to eradicate polio, the consequences will be disastrous. Research has shown that the world would soon see more than 200,000 cases a year. This is why the continued transmission of polio is now an emergency.
3.) This resolution gives countries greater powers to combat polio. For instance, they can choose to require travellers to and from polio-infected countries to be vaccinated against polio. Polio-infected countries have been urged to draw up emergency action plans for combating the virus.
4.) The resolution also calls for the World Health Organization’s 194 Member States to fully fund the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
Declaring polio an emergency for global public health is an important step forward, yet we will only see the end of polio if the funding gap is filled. This is why we are asking world leaders to go beyond words and ensure that the Global Polio Eradication Initiative is fully funded.
We are about the end of the Q2 2012, the number WPVs are 30 already, Unless our politicians and other leadership are serious, only then perhaps, the target of 2012 is already a mirage.

Northern Traditional Rulers Committee meet to strategise on Polio Eradication

This update on Polio Eradication in Northern Nigeria is courtesy of Daily Trust Newspapers:
Nineteen emirs and chiefs under the auspices of Northern Traditional Rulers Committee on polio eradication Saturday converged on Katsina State to evolve measures of eradicating the child killer disease in the country before the end of the year.
Chairman of the committee, the Shehu of Bama, Alhaji Kari Umar Ibn El-Kanemi, told Governor Shehu Shema, during a courtesy visit that the committee was set up by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar 111, in 2009 during an interactive session of northern emirs held in Kaduna. El-Kanemi said the traditional rulers decided to set up the committee  to assist the Federal Government in the on-going crusade against the child killer disease.
“Initially, the meeting only held in Kaduna, but later we decided to rotate it among northern states. So far, it has been held in Jigawa, Zamfara, Sokoto and Kebbi States. During our last meeting in Sokoto State, the Sultan of Sokoto mandated all traditional rulers to do everything possible within their powers to eradicate polio in their respective domains. Our aim is to eradicate polio from Nigeria by the end of this year,” he said.
Responding, Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema said he recently released over N219 million to the state’s task force on eradication of polio and routine immunization for eradication of the disease.

Parents who reject Oral Polio Vaccine to be prosecuted.

This story was culled from Daily Trust Newspaper:
The Jigawa State government yesterday said it will prosecute parents who reject the Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) for their children in the ongoing immunisation exercise in the state.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr Abubakar Tafida, told newsmen that defaulters will be sentenced to between six months and one year imprisonment without an option of fine.

Tafida said this at the beginning of the October round of Immunisation Plus Days (IPDs) exercise in Dutse. He said that the state House of Assembly had enacted a law which was assented to by the governor to deal with “anybody who rejects the vaccine and also to promote participation in the exercise.”

“The assembly has enacted a law to punish those who reject polio vaccination which will be enforced during the ongoing immunisation exercise,” Tafida said.

He said that the state had also adopted effective campaign measures to sensitise communities on the importance of presenting their wards for vaccination and also mobilise participation in the exercise.

“Oral polio vaccine was administered to my sons, the children of the deputy governor and the speaker. It is a deliberate attempt to correct the wrong misconception about the vaccine.

“This is to show to people that the vaccine is not harmful,” he added.

In his remark, the Emir of Dutse, Alhaji Nuhu Sunusi, appealed to parents in the state to present their children for immunisation. Sunusi said the emirate council had directed district, village and ward heads to monitor the exercise in their respective wards.

“Parents have no reason to reject the vaccine. We must contribute to ensure total eradication of the disease,” Sunusi said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Emir led a team of vaccinators and personally administered oral polio vaccine to children of the state Deputy Governor, Ahmed Muhammad, and the Speaker, Alhaji Adamu Ahmad.

More than 1.3 million children are targeted in the ongoing immunisation exercise across the 27 local government areas of the state.