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Ulema committee members to visit Pak to dispel myths about polio vaccine

With World Health Organisation (WHO) suspending the special outreach programme against polio in Peshawar due to the attack on female community workers,members of Rotary Muslim Ulema committee have now offered to visit Pakistan and help dispel myths and rumours about polio vaccination.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune | Published: June 29, 2013 4:38:40 am

With World Health Organisation (WHO) suspending the special outreach programme against polio in Peshawar due to the attack on female community workers,members of Rotary Muslim Ulema committee have now offered to visit Pakistan and help dispel myths and rumours about polio vaccination.

“Globally,polio has decreased by 99 per cent. Only 69 cases have been detected this year (as of June19 ). Only Afghanistan,Pakistan and Nigeria remain endemic for the disease. Chances of acquiring polio virus from Pakistan and Afghanistan are acute. We will take every precaution possible and will ensure there is no laxity in the campaign” Deepak Kapur,Chairman,Rotary International’s India National PolioPlus Committee (INPPC) told Newsline.

“Members of Rotary Muslim Ulema committee have offered to extend their service and visit Pakistan to dispel various myths,” said Ashok Mahajan,trustee of Rotary’s International polioPlus committee.

Fresh outbreaks of polio cases from Nigeria have raised concerns of importation across the subcontinent. With Pakistan being a polio endemic country,Indian officials have become more cautious of polio virus importation from its neighboring countries. India has so far gone over two years without a case of polio.

Addressing the Rotarians at a recently organised National Orientation and Planning Meet,Dr Sunil Bahl,Deputy Project Manager,National Polio Survellience Project India,WHO said “Maintaining immunity and preventing importation is the first step India should take to maintain the Polio-free status. As part of our project,we provide continuous vaccination at the borders.”

A total of 5 vaccination posts along Indo-Pak border and 88 at Indo-Nepal have been set up since 2011. Two posts each have been established at Indo-Bangladesh and Indo-Myanmar borders this year.” The aim is to ensure that there is no importation from the neighbouring countries and achieve the three-year target for regional Polio-free certification.

Global Polio Eradication Initiative has decided to get rid of polio from all over the world by 2018. The number of polio cases is dwindling at a rapid pace with only 223 new cases recorded last year worldwide. Only 19 new cases have been reported so far this year.

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