Polio this Sunday on January 20 2013

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Polio this Sunday on January 20 2013

  1. 1. January 20, 2013 [PULSE POLIO 2013] Sunday January 20, 2013This Sunday, January 20, we embark on our 19th Pulse Polio activity with January 13, being theanniversary of India’s major polio milestone – marking two years without reporting a single case of polio.We have proved that ‘it’s possible’ but, we have to keep going! We’re closer thanever before to eradicating polio globally. Experts once said that eradication inIndia was impossible but by proving them wrong, we’ve provided a blueprint forAfghanistan, Pakistan and Nigerian, the only three remaining endemic countries,to eradicate the disease District Immunization Officer, Kurnool 1
  2. 2. January 20, 2013 [PULSE POLIO 2013]Now we’ve reached zero cases, we have to remain vigilant to ensure that thedisease does not return.Well, there’s a number of underlying causes that include everything from a lack oftrained and fully supported health workers to parents refusing to take vaccines.We got past many of these problems by developing an army of vaccinators thatwere able to reach out to 172 million children each vaccination round but I agreethat one of the underlying causes of polio was poor sanitation, hygiene and a lackof clean water. This has an effect on multiple public health challenges and urgentaction is indeed needed to solve these big problems.However, it’s not about any one intervention being the silver bullet to solve allpublic health problems, it’s about looking at health holistically and developing acontinuum of care that ensures that from the cradle to the grave, everyone hasthe right to access quality health information and services. To do that, a strongpublic health movement is needed to ensure that health rises up the politicalagenda; strong policies are put in place that are ultimately implemented andevaluated by the people at the local, State and national levelsAnd at this juncture, Should we move from vaccination to treatment?Again we need to be doing everything. I don’t think anyone would deny that thoseaffected by polio need good health care and support systems to help them copewith the disease. The right to health is enshrined in our constitution and we mustdevelop a system to ensure that all people affected by the disease are suitablytreatedAs well as making sure that people like Ruksar (the last polio case) are well lookedafter, we must also ensure that we vaccinate all children against polio and otherdiseases that are preventable. Routine immunization activities should bestrengthened with focus on quality delivery of immunization services. The threatof polio importation from endemic countries will remain in every country untilpolio is wiped out globally. Treatment versus prevention is the wrong paradigm;we need to be doing both. District Immunization Officer, Kurnool 2
  3. 3. January 20, 2013 [PULSE POLIO 2013]If we fail now, polio has shown through history that it is a resilient virus and itwill come back. I’m proud of India’s achievement but this is not the time tocelebrate. We must remain vigilant nationally and celebrate with the worldwhen we finally reach the golden number for global cases of polio. ZeroWe have to ensure that no child in the target age group is left out from theimmunization drive."This resolve is necessary to ensure that the strides taken by the nation in itsfight against polio are taken to its logical end," and only such resolve can ensurethat India is a polio free nation in the days ahead.Achieving polio eradication was one of my life time dreams and I have beenworking on polio since 1995. When outbreaks happened, it was like dealing with atidal wave that couldn’t be stopped. I’m proud that I am part of history and havestories to tell my grandchildrenIt is most satisfying to see that happening. At this moment, Let us not forget . . . Wednesday, December 19, 2012, Safar 05, 14344 women among five polio workers shot deadCampaign halted in Karachi - Balochistan govt suspends anti-polio campaignStaff Reporter District Immunization Officer, Kurnool 3
  4. 4. January 20, 2013 [PULSE POLIO 2013]Wednesday,December 19, 2012 -Karachi—Gunmenshot dead five healthworkers on an anti-polio drive in a stringof attacks in countryon Tuesday, officialssaid, raising fears forthe safety of workersimmunizing childrenagainst the cripplingdisease. District Immunization Officer, Kurnool 4

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