Polio cases slowing in Pakistan spur hope for global elimination - Asia - World - The Independent

Polio cases slowing in Pakistan spur hope for global elimination

 

Polio cases caused by one of two circulating strains of poliomyelitis virus weren't reported in Pakistan in six months, speeding global eradication of the crippling disease.

Type-3 polio is close to being eliminated in Pakistan, one of three countries in the world where transmission has never been interrupted, researchers said in presentations Tuesday at a medical meeting in Atlanta.

Globally, 177 polio cases were identified from January to October 2012, compared with 502 during the same period last year. Fighting the paralyzing disease has been challenging in Pakistan, where a World Health Organization doctor was injured in July in a gun attack in Karachi. He was returning from supervising a polio vaccination campaign — a program the Taliban has opposed elsewhere in the country.

"There have not been any Type-3 cases reported for six months, which is the longest gap in incidence there to date," Steven Wassilak, a medical epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, said in a statement. "CDC works with Pakistan officials to monitor different chains of transmission and Type-3 is down to only one chain, which is an indication that we are close to breaking the last link."

The attack in the southern port city of Karachi was a month after Pakistan's Taliban guerrilla movement said it would oppose polio immunization in the country's northwestern tribal areas of North and South Waziristan to protest missile strikes by U.S. unmanned drone aircraft.

About 250,000 children in tribal areas located along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan won't get the vaccine because of the opposition by the Taliban, the BBC reported July 16, citing WHO officials it didn't identify.

Polio control is also being hindered in urban Karachi by parents refusing to allow vaccinators to give their children the two drops of the oral vaccine that will prevent infection, said Anita Zaidi, a pediatrician at the city's Aga Khan University.

"Efforts should focus on building trust through grass- roots effort using community elders in populations with high vaccine-refusal rates," she said. "By providing vaccination at mass transit sites, such as bus routes used to travel up country throughout the year, we can at least isolate the viral reservoirs and make sure we avoid what happened last year, which was exporting the virus to China."

The other endemic countries are Afghanistan and Nigeria.

India hasn't reported a polio infection since January 2011 and the World Health Organization's Southeast Asia region will be certified polio-free in 2014 if no new cases arise, Wassilak told the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

HR Manager - Kent - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...

Senior QA Engineer - Agile, SCRUM

£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior QA Engineer (Agil...

Marketing Executive - West Midlands - £28,000

£26000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Executive (SEO, PP...

Retail Business Analyst

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our retail client ...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week