News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Polio Outbreak Response Under Way to Protect Children

Polio Outbreak Response Under Way to Protect Children in Five Highest-Risk Countries

Children in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Syria will be the first of nearly 10 million children across the Middle East to receive a dose of polio vaccine this month.

Mass vaccination campaigns were launched in the four countries today, to be followed by a similar campaign in Lebanon from 9 March.

“We have seen extraordinary progress made against polio in the last few decades but the ongoing crisis in Syria and its neighbouring countries threatens to derail this success and could prove a dangerous tipping point for the return of this deadly virus,” said Dennis McKinlay, Executive Director at UNICEF New Zealand.

“We need to get two drops of polio vaccine into the mouth of every child under the age of five, regardless of their previous immunization history, every time there is a campaign,” added Khouzama al-Rasheed, a medical worker at a health centre in Qudssaya, rural Damascus, Syria. “If we can do that, the virus won’t be able to find a single child to infect, and we can put a stop to this disease.”

The multi-country vaccination campaign forms part of a regional response to the re-importation of wild poliovirus of Pakistani origin into Syria. Seven countries across the Middle East are planning to vaccinate more than 22 million children multiple times over six months – the region’s largest-ever coordinated immunization plan.

“Polio doesn’t respect borders,” said Dr. Ala Alwan the World Health Organization’s Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean. “The detection of polio in Syria is not Syria’s problem alone, but one requiring a regional response. The safety of children across the Middle East relies on us being able to put a stop to polio in Syria.”

On 28 October, 2013, the Syrian Ministry of Health announced that polio had returned to the country for the first time in almost 15 years. The March vaccination round will be Syria’s fourth since polio was detected, and rounds in January and February reached all governorates.

“To vaccinate so many children in different countries is a huge undertaking,” said Maria Calivis, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “Each country faces its own set of challenges in order to make the campaign effective – above all in Syria – but this is the only way we can ensure children across the region are properly protected against this terrible disease.”

Mr McKinlay added, “It is of paramount importance that any threat of polio is met with widespread vaccination campaigns as this is the only way we can ensure the Middle East region returns to its former polio free status.

Donations can be made at: www.unicef.org.nz/syria

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Scoop Review Of Books: The Typewriter Factory

I finished reading Don’t Dream It’s Over not long after it came out last August. I even started writing a review, which took something of an ‘I’m sorry people, but it’s already over’ approach. I’ve been pretty negative about journalism as it’s practiced in the mainstream (or MSM, or corporate media or liberal media or whatever terminology you prefer) for quite some time (see for example Stop the Press), and I believe the current capitalist media model is destructive and can’t be reformed. More>>

Sheep Update: Solo World Shearing Record Broken In Southland

Southland shearer Leon Samuels today set a new World solo eight-hours strongwool ewe-shearing after a tally of 605 in a wool shed north of Gore. More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: Dick Frizzell At The Solander Gallery

One of the most influential and celebrated contemporary Pop artists working in New Zealand, Dick Frizzell is mostly known for his appropriation of kitsch Kiwiana icons, which he often incorporates into cartoon-like paintings and lithographs. Not content with adhering to one particular style, he likes to adopt consciously unfashionable styles of painting, in a manner reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein. More>>

Old Music: Pop Icon Adam Ant Announces NZ Tour

Following his recent sold out North American and UK tours, Adam Ant is celebrating the 35th anniversary of the release of his landmark KINGS OF THE WILD FRONTIER album with a newly-remastered reissue (Sony Legacy) and Australasian tour. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books:
Looking Back

Writing a memoir that appeals to a broad readership is a difficult undertaking. As an experienced communicator, Lloyd Geering keeps the reader’s interest alive through ten chapters (or portholes) giving views of different aspects of his life in 20th-century New Zealand. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Purple (and Violet) Prose

This is the second recent conjoint publication by Reeve and Stapp; all to do with esoteric, arcane and obscure vocabulary – sesquipedalian, anyone – and so much more besides. Before I write further, I must stress that the book is an equal partnership between words and images and that one cannot thrive without the other. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news