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UN official says polio remains global threat

But the vaccine won’t be available any time soon as bureaucratic testing and approval process may take time. © Shutterstock

According to UN official, Helen Rees, polio remained an international threat.

Written by Editorial Team |Published : December 1, 2018 4:03 PM IST

To eradicate polio completely, tremendous efforts have been made and it really worked dropping the number of children paralyzed from polio from 350,000 to 28 in 2018. Still, polio remained an international threat, Helen Rees, chair of the World Health Organization s emergency committee says.

She quoted as saying, the fear is that we might well see a resurgence, that we could see exportation again and a reversal of all of the work and all of the country global efforts that have gone into trying to eradicate polio. According to her, there has been a worrying exportation of the wild polio virus to and from Pakistan and Afghanistan over the last few months.

She added, we have got widespread, positive environmental sampling in Pakistan. And, in Afghanistan, because of the more difficult situation there in terms of security, we are unable to access probably as many as a million children for vaccination.

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However, good news from Nigeria has come. The director of WHO's polio eradication program, Michel Zaffran, stated that the polio virus has not been seen in Nigeria since it was last detected more than two years ago. If this continues, the regional certification commission could be able to declare the wild polio virus eradicated from the African region at the end of 2019 or early 2020.

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