polio Current Affairs - 2019
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Actress Kareena Kapoor Khan has been appointed as an ambassador of Swasth Immunised India campaign. The Swasth Immunised India campaign has been launched by Serum Institute of India (SII) and Network 18.
Swasth Immunised India campaign
- The Swasth Immunised India campaign aims to build a robust campaign aimed at spreading awareness on the importance and benefits of immunisation among the masses.
- The campaign is aimed at dispelling myths and misconceptions pertaining to the administration of vaccination among Indians.
- The campaign aims to raise awareness about the importance and benefits of vaccine administration, advocating its acceptance and building a strong immunization outreach in the country.
- The Swasth Immunised India campaign aims to complement the efforts of the government to reach full immunisation coverage through continuous education and awareness.
Significance of the Immunisation
India’s commitment towards vaccination has aided in successfully eradicated deadly diseases like Polio and Smallpox.
WHO states that immunisation prevents 2-3 million deaths every year. But still, 5 lakh kids die every year in India because of diseases preventable by vaccines. India is still home to the highest number of unvaccinated (56%) and incompletely vaccinated children (32%).
Prevalence of myths and misconceptions, lack of information and misinformation has hindered the government efforts to achieve full immunisation. This is resulting in outbreaks of various kinds of illnesses, leading to a growing fatality rate among infants, children and expectant mothers in India. The Swasth Immunised India campaign aims to address these gaps.
The World Polio Day is observed annually across world on 24 October to create awareness about hazards of the crippling Polio disease. The day was instituted by Rotary International to commemorate birth of Jonas Salk who had led first team of researchers which had developed vaccine against poliomyelitis (polio virus). This development had led to widespread use of this inactivated poliovirus vaccine and subsequently use of oral poliovirus, developed by Albert Sabin. It also had led to establishment of Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in 1988 which has helped to reduce polio worldwide by 99%.
Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI)
GPEI launched in 1988 has played pivotal role in eradication of wild poliovirus. When it was launched wild poliovirus existed in 125 countries. Now, it exists in two countries Pakistan and Afghanistan. Till 2012, Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country was reservoir of more than half of the Polio cases in the world. But in 2015, it was removed from list of Polio endemic countries by World Health Organization (WHO).
Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious viral disease, which mainly affects young children below age of 5. The virus is transmitted from person-to-person. It mainly spreads through the faecal-oral route (e.g. contaminated water or food). After entering body, it multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system and can cause paralysis. Its initial symptoms include fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness in the neck, and pain in the limbs. In some cases, it causes permanent paralysis. There is no cure for polio, however it can only be prevented by immunization. Polio vaccine is given multiple times, almost always protects a child for life.