Polio outbreak in Ivory Coast: The importance of immunisation

Ivory Coast polio outbreak could spread abroad: WHO
– Thu Apr 21, 11:27 am ET
GENEVA (Reuters) – Polio has broken out in Ivory Coast, with three children confirmed as having the crippling disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.
The U.N. agency warned that the virus may spread within Ivory Coast, where disease surveillance is poor after months of post-election violence, and to other parts of West Africa.
“The outbreak response may be constrained by the current security situation in Cote d’Ivoire,” the WHO said.
Immunization rounds are planned in 15 West African countries from next week, but the dates for Ivory Coast will depend on the security situation, WHO spokesman Oliver Rosenbauer said.
Vaccinations had not taken place as planned in Ivory Coast last month due to the fighting and the WHO could not rule out that the virus was continuing to circulate undetected there.
Continuing story

Malaysia has been declared wild polio free since 1993, when 2 cases were then described in unvaccinated children. [1] We need to keep our guard up with our vaccination programs. Allowing polio back to our shores is unacceptable. Achieving a high coverage for polio vaccination is a must if we are to keep it at bay. To date, WHO has failed to eradicate polio worldwide. Much of the reason for this failure is due to a lack of political commitment, like in war torn Ivory Coast.

[1]Ismail HI, Lal M, Poliomyelitis in Malaysia: two confirmed cases after 6 years without polio,Ann Trop Paediatr. 1993;13(4):339-43.

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