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End Polio Now PDF Print E-mail

Image Today, October 24, is World Polio Day! Poliomyelitis has been brought under control, thanks to effective vaccines. In 1955, Jonas Salk discovered the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV), and six years later his rival, Albert Sabin, introduced the oral polio vaccine (OPV). The global incidence of polio has been reduced by more than 99 per cent and the number of countries with endemic polio from 125 to 3 (Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria) since Rotary International’s Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) was launched in 1988. Nevertheless, the global community is still at threat from ongoing poliovirus transmission in the last three endemic countries and the risk of circulating vaccine derived polio viruses (cVDPV). The World Health Assembly has declared the completion of polio eradication “a programmatic emergency for global public health”.

This year, Winchester Rotary and The British Polio Fellowship will jointly launch the First Post-Polio Syndrome (PPS) Day on October 26. PPS or Late Effects of Polio is a debilitating condition affecting hundreds and thousands of people across the world. Many of these people made the most of life with disability, but today they are battling with profound fatigue, increasing muscle weakness, joint and muscle pain, increased sensitivity to cold temperatures, and sleeping, breathing or swallowing difficulties.

Let’s hope that conflicts and natural disasters don’t impede efforts to eradicate polio. With stringent preventive measures and vaccination drives, governments across the world also need to invest in medical and health care of polio survivors.

 

 

 

 

 
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