Tuesday, September 15, 2009

News Update:New round of Pulse Polio Program in Delhi

Delhi would continue to strive hard to completely eliminate polio, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said last Saturday while launching another round of Pulse Polio campaign by administering anti-polio drops to children in a simple function organised at Delhi Secretariat.

Ms. Dikshit has urged all parents having children up to 5 years of age to take them for immunisation to the polio booths. She said Delhi Government has made elaborate arrangements for administering anti-polio drops to the children during its program on Sunday.

The Chief Minister said it would be ensured that no virus of polio could enter Delhi. She said for making a strong nation it was necessary to have strong children and this would only be possible with the success of the Pulse Polio Program. ``Our State has shown better results in this field. Delhi initiated Pulse Polio immunisation program in 1994 and launched house to house `Search and Immunisation’ in 1999.

Apart from this, a door-to-door weeklong survey has been conducted under search and immunisation Pulse Polio Campaign. The goal of this was for 17,000 workers in 9,200 teams to visit different colonies including slums and jhuggi jhopri clusters to administer Pulse Polio drops to children who could not be administered the drops on Sunday. Source The Hindu

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio by Peg Kehret

Children’s author Peg Kehret ventures into autobiography with this look back into her life in 1949, the year she was 12 and contracted three different types of polio seemingly overnight. Kehret’s personal journey reveals the horrors of polio—the pain, the slow recuperation, the isolation, the paralysis and the torturous treatments she received that facilitated her recovery. Before polio, Peg was excited about junior high —and then, she was in the hospital fighting for her life.

Small Steps provides a first-hand account and will appeal to children and parents alike .

News Update:Pulse polio campaign from Sep 10 to 14- Allahabad

There will be a Pulse polio immunisation campaign in Allahabad from September 10 to 14 wherein a total of ten lakh children aged between 0 to 5
years are to be administered polio drops.

For ensuring a cent per cent coverage, a total of 1791 teams have been constituted and they have been entrusted with the task of visiting at least 100 homes each day. In addition, 179 transit and mobile teams too have been formed while 1415 anganwadi workers and 2467 Asha workers too have been pressed into service for assisting the teams.

District development officer, RC Pandey stressed upon the need to learn lessons from the shortcomings of the previous pulse polio campaigns and ensure that the mistakes would not be repeated. Although no case of polio has been reported from the city, the officer expressed dissatisfaction over the working of education department and ICDS employees.

Source TNN

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Polio update : India

49 polio cases in Bihar

Patna, Aug 25 (PTI)

As many as 49 cases of polio have been detected in Bihar, a polio status report said.
Most of the cases were found in Kosi belt, where due to recent floods the polio immunisation programme was hampered.Out of the total detected cases, 16 are highly virulent 'p1' cases.Out of the 236 polio cases reported across India, 181 cases were found in Uttar Pradesh, four in Delhi and one each in Rajasthan and Uttrakhand.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Polio Ride and David Salai

David Salai,a Veteran and College Student, embarked on a journey across America with the mission to raise funds Rotary's Polio Campaign.
His blog http://thepolioride09.blogspot.com/ talks about his trip, day by day and is an inspiring read.Till now he has covered 1555 miles.

To Donate to his cause: Follow this link http://www.rotary.org/en/endpolio/Pages/ridefault.aspx

Thursday, July 23, 2009

US to work with India on healthcare services: Clinton

Lastest News Update:

America will work to meet health challenges facing India among other countries and will have a comprehensive dialogue to improve maternal and child healthcare services, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said here today.

"US has announced a large commitment to global healthcare policy. Our government is already spending a lot of money on HIV/AIDS but we wanted to add maternal and child health to that commitment as it is important for India," Clinton said.

"Commitment was also in eradication of infectious diseases like Tuberculosis (TB) and Polio which are also problems in India," she said after visiting a Self Employed Womens Association (SEWA)'s trade outlet here.

"We are trying to work with our counterparts in India on these and will have a comprehensive dialogue in solving some of these healthcare challenges," she said.

Source: PTI

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Polio. We have all heard of it. In all probability, one knows or has seen people afflicted with it. In any eventuality, we are all aware of it. But how much do we really know about it? Do we need to know about it? After all, we are fine. But are we? We are the human civilization. But how human can a civilization be if it is not able to empathize with the suffering of its’ fellow kind? How far can we go in our fight against polio if we do not know who or how one can contract this disease…if we don’t know how to prevent it? Awareness, Education and Action are the 3 pillars with whose support we can finally bid this dreaded affliction goodbye. It is in this spirit that we at Swabhiman hope to spread awareness about this crippling disease. We hope that by doing so we will help, in some part atleast, in the fight against polio.

The following information is aimed at helping one learn more about this health impairment, how it can be prevented and see where we stand today in our fight to eradicate it. And eradicate it we will.

To begin with, poliomyelitis, often called polio or infantile paralysis, is a highly contagious disease that is caused by a virus that primarily lives in the intestines and human feces1,2 It is caused by infection with a member of the genus Enterovirus known as poliovirus (PV). This group of RNA viruses prefers to inhabit the gastrointestinal tract. Notably, PV infects and causes disease in humans alone. Three serotypes of poliovirus have been identified—poliovirus type 1 (PV1), type 2 (PV2), and type 3 (PV3). All three are extremely virulent and produce the same disease symptoms. PV1 is the most commonly encountered form, and the one most closely associated with paralysis.

The polio virus is spread from person-to-person primarily through oral contact with the feces of an infected person (for example, by changing diapers); it can also spread through contaminated food or water, especially in areas with poor sanitation systems.1,2 There have also been cases that have been transmitted by direct oral contact or by droplet spread.3 Once inside the body, the poliovirus multiplies in the throat and intestinal tract, then travels through the bloodstream where it infects the brain and spinal cord1,2

Paralysis occurs because the polio virus attacks the nervous system and damages or destroys the nerves that send messages between the brain and the muscles1,2 Infact different types of paralysis may occur, depending on the nerves involved. Spinal polio is the most common form, characterized by asymmetric paralysis that most often involves the legs.

It is important to note that Poliomyelitis is highly contagious and spreads easily by human-to-human contact. In endemic areas (natural to or characteristic of a specific people or place), wild polio viruses can infect virtually the entire human population. India is an endemic country.

To touch upon the history of polio, it was one of the most dreaded diseases of the twentieth century. It left thousands of people, mostly children, crippled in its wake. However, with the invention of the polio virus vaccine and following its widespread use in the mid-1950s, the incidence of poliomyelitis has declined dramatically in many industrialized countries. In fact, the disease has disappeared to quite a large extent, especially from the States and the Western Hemisphere.
Today, the disease has been eliminated from most of the world, and only seven countries worldwide remain polio-endemic. This represents the lowest number of countries with circulating wild polio virus. At the same time, the areas of transmission are more concentrated than ever - 98 percent of all global cases are found in India, Nigeria and Pakistan.

Sadly, there is no cure for polio; it can only be prevented through immunization. Polio vaccine, given multiple times, almost always protects a child for life. Full immunization will markedly reduce an individual's risk of developing paralytic polio and protect most people. At present there are two types of vaccines available:
• A live attenuated (weakened) oral polio vaccine (OPV) developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in 1961. OPV is given orally.
• An inactivated (killed) polio vaccine (IPV), developed in 1955 by Dr. Jonas Salk; unlike OPV, IPV has to be injected by a trained health worker. IPV is 90% effective after 2 doses and 99% effective after 3 doses.
At this juncture, it is important to mention the ‘The Global Polio Eradication Initiative.’ A global effort to eradicate polio began in 1988, led by the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and The Rotary Foundation. These efforts have reduced the number of annual diagnosed cases by 99%; from an estimated 350,000 cases in 1988 to 1,310 cases in 20075,6
The battle is still on and at this point, we would like to conclude by saying that, “Prevention is the only solution in the case of polio, and Immunization is the only way to prevent polio.”

We invite you to join us in our fight against polio…in our endeavor to make this a polio-free world and thus enable every child a happy today and a bright tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

In the news: First bivalent polio vaccine being tested in India

The world's first bivalent vaccine - that will protect children against both P1 and P3 strains of the polio virus - is being tested in India.

Around 900 newborn children in Indore, Chennai and Pune have already been given two doses of the oral bivalent vaccine (BOPV).

Scientists at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) want to see whether the bivalent vaccine, manufactured by Panacea, provides as much immunity to children as the present day vaccine of choice -- monovalent oral polio vaccine (MOPV).
Blood samples of children in trial have already been collected. Being analyzed by the Enterovirus Research Centre in Mumbai, the final results on whether BOPV can be an alternative to MOPV will become clear by April.

In 2008, India recorded 549 polio cases of which 68 were caused by the P1 strain and 481 were P3 infections. In 2007, India recorded 874 cases of polio.

P1 is the most dangerous form of poliovirus as it can cause huge outbreaks and travel long distances. P1 accounted for 95% polio cases in the country till 2006. P1 causes paralysis in one out of every 200 children compared to P3, which causes paralysis in one out of every 1,000 infections.

Source, TNN

Friday, March 6, 2009

Polio: A match abandoned or battle lost ?

Polio: A match abandoned or battle lost ?

The world may have decided to eradicate polio in the 80s but India still remains one of the four countries still affected by the Wild Polio Virus (WPV) in the world besides Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Though our country harbours only two types of Polio virus P1 and P3, it accounted for 549 cases in 2008. This has left the whole world worried and has forced us to rethink where we could have gone wrong in the past.
Despite an intensified push on polio eradication programme, India has not been able to entirely eradicate polio because of its large population density, poor environmental sanitation, prevalence of other viruses, the climate and lack of adequate infrastructure to ensure cent percent immunization coverage in far flung areas of the country.
The battle against polio is far from over as new cases of polio have been detected in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Delhi in the first quarter of 2009 already. Mostly migrant populations have been at the receiving end of lately, having missed immunization while on the move.
Polio affects the poorest sections. The polio virus thrives – and the polio vaccine is incapacitated – in unhygienic and unsanitary conditions. That is why, as per a report in Science journal, Indian children tend to receive 10-15 doses of the Oral Polio Vaccine, when doctors recommend no more than three
When Bill Gates came to India and supported the cause for polio, he had made a very deep commitment indeed. In his words the country has to improve the health system in general, have the communities involved in delivering services, getting vaccines out and so on.
It is heartbreaking to note that that the medical community has been in many ways less than fully behind the initiative that could easily have safeguarded many more children from life threatening paralysis that they didn’t deserve. As far as mobilization is concerned both parents and leaders have been slow to rise up for the cause of polio immunization. In all fairness to the parents, many people who show up to vaccinate their kids do not know why they are there nor they do not know what the right kind of vaccination is. And this is what separates India from the developed countries who have completely eradicated polio and are adopting new strategies like IPV to prevent another recurrence of this nasty disease.
The only way we can go out and put and end to polio is by getting a movement behind this that originates at the very basic level, in every home. We have all witnessed how Swabhiman, a modest civil society brought to the fore stories of hope – the scientist, the public leader or the cricketer who fought off polio to still leave a mark. There is a need for more such civil society initiatives who can lend a voice to India’s polio victims, articulating their rights and attempts to be an information resource on polio for affected people and the public at large.
Polio has lived with us perhaps as long as donkey years. So it has adapted to it and is going to hang with us for sometime. The traditional leadership, the political leadership and the medical community leadership have to stand on the same platform to rip this unwanted weed from its roots. It is one issue we cannot afford to turn a blind eye. We certainly have a long way to go and much more to address if we have to challenge one of the biggest public health challenges of our time – that of making India a polio-free country.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009