WHO declares Africa as a polio virus free continent.

Dated 26th August 2020 daily Dawn published a report on its front page with head line 

“Africa is now listed as free from Poliovirus” This is stated by World Health Organization (WHOt) yesterday. 

By Mahmood Hussain, Thursday 27thAugust 2020, the article is written for www.babyfirst.com.pk   BABY FIRST PAKISTAN and on Facebook.babyfirstPakistan and other social media such as LinkedIn, Twitter and so on. Writer Mahmood Hussain is from Karachi Pakistan currently in Dubai. Today 

Karachi is fully flooded due to very heavy effecting all parts of Karachi It rained for hours and this is te sixth spell of flood in Karachi and forecast is likely to face 7th spell of flood from 29th August to 30th August. At this moment most of the part of Sindh and upper and central part of Punjab is also effected due to monsoon rain..

Rose Gana Fomban Leke. Emeritus Professor of Immunology and Parasiology, She is a Fellow of the Cameroon Academy of Sciences

This was endorsed by Prof Rose Gana Fomban Leke as a Historic day in African continent. Feel pride to declare it and commission certified that during “last four year no case has been reported with in the continent.”

Still now a days Polio cases exist, but incidence have significantly reduce to the level of 99%. These figures we consider from 1988 till to date. If we take and estimate figure of global picture, which was reported more than 350,000 cases and now it is 22 cases recorded with in the year of 2017.This significant and drastic reduction is due to the excellent global effort to eradicate the disease of Polio  

Now a days in the year 2020 only two countries worldwide still report transmission of polio cases these are in Pakistan and its neighboring country Afghanistan.

Very sadly I am mentioning Pakistan is my country which is atomic power and the sixth most populous country on this globe but still unable to eradicate the polio virus.  

Now take it, Nigeria since 2017 have not reported any case of Polio, due to this success Africa is now declare as polio free continent by the WHO. 

WHO mentioned at this stage the polio virus stands along with small pox which has been wiped out of Africa.

As we look at the excellent progress made since 1988, but as long as one child remain infected with polio virus, the children in the countries are at risk of contracting with Polio disease. Look at it in more detail, it is more likely to import this virus to the polio free virus country. 

This will spread very fast amongst no immunized populations.

Failure to get rid of it will result in nearly 200,000 cases each year and may again effect worldwide children population. Our country Pakistan and neighboring country Afghanistan are fully exposed and reported the incidence of polio are published regularly. 

Polio Situation in Pakistan within last three year. 

If we consider dated 17th August 2020 as the land mark date in the year 2020, still reported cases of polio till to date during the year 2020 are  65 with in Pakistan, 147 cases were documented in Pakistan during the year 2019 and in the year 2018, 12 cases were documented.   

Looking into it and appreciating the progress achieved in this regard is remarkable.        If a single child remain infected due to polio virus, problem is, this can be transmitted from effected country towards polio free country. The children of worldwide will be at risk of contracting with the disease.  To be sure to protect children below 5 years, need to be vaccinated. Further biggest risk is, this can spread rapidly among the unimmunized population. If we fail to eradicate polio which is a regular feature with in Pakistan and Afghanistan, this could result in 200,000 new cases every year. If this condition prevail than with in ten years it will spread and effect worldwide especially among the children under the age of 5. Only way is effective vaccination and immunization of child can protect the children.

If we consider the era starting from 1996, when fully focus effort on eradication of polio was assure.  This has resulted in preventing 1.8 million children to be effected by polio. This will result in avoiding crippling of child & lifelong paralysis. With the dedicated effort, it is estimated to save and survive approximately 180,000 lives.  As per report by monitoring Agency.  

Polio is cause by virus and it is highly infectious.

It has been observe polio mainly affect children below the age of 5 years.

The polio virus invades and attack the nervous system, this may result in total paralysis with in few hours. 

The polio virus is transmitted from person to person. This is mainly spread via fecal and oral route. It is transmitted via contaminated water and food ingested by the baby. It rapidly multiplies when it reaches within the intestine. The initial symptom appear such as fever, headache, stiffness of the neck, vomiting, fatigue and pain in the lower limb / leg. The child who are paralyzed out these 5% to10% expire because of their breathing muscle problem.

We all are highly thank full to the donors and appreciate worldwide global effort by the countries and individual to eradicate polio from world map.  Secondly we are thankful for financial support extended for nearly 30 years valuing US$ 19 billion. 

Only two countries worldwide that is Pakistan and Afghanistan are still reporting cases of Polio. During this year to date 27th August, 2020 so far 87 cases are reported in the current year.  

The worldwide campaign of Polio vaccination to the people resulted in preventing them from becoming infected and stop spreading it. Thus this resulted in breaking the cycle of transmission and finally eradicate the polio virus from the globe.

If we take historical view and with minus Pakistan & Afghanistan. The last case of polio reported and detected in Africa was in 2016 in the Nigeria. 

The virus of polio typically spread via faeces of the infected people and this result in through ingesting contaminated food and water. 

We all are highly indebted and especially salute the team comprising of front line health services worker, vaccinator and security person worldwide.  Pakistan is also working with dedicated team to vaccinate children. Few incidence of attack occurred on the team which resulted in loss of life and injury.. The worker who lost their life are term as Shaheed. 

Article written by Mahmood Hussain for Baby First website, facebook, twitter, Linkedin and other social and digital media

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