UNICEF Helps Indonesia Fight Back Against Polio
May 6, 2005 - 4:13:38 AM
UNICEF is supporting the emergency vaccination of children in a district near Jakarta, Indonesia, on 5-6 May in an attempt to halt the spread of an outbreak of polio.
In meetings with Indonesian Health officials today, UNICEF agreed that it would immediately support the first phase of the governments emergency polio vaccination campaign covering the area where two cases were detected over the past two weeks. This first phase will cover an estimated 1500 children in the affected Sukabumi District, which is 60 kilometres south of Jakarta
In a second phase, UNICEF will contribute $1.3 million to a campaign starting 31 May to vaccinate 5.2 million children throughout Western Java, including the capital Jakarta.
One decade after recording the last case of polio in Indonesia, a 20 month-old girl and an 18 month-old girl from Sukabumi district in West Java have been paralyzed by poliovirus type one (P1). They had not been immunized against polio.
Partners in the global polio eradication initiative, including UNICEF, WHO, Rotary International and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),are supporting the Indonesian Ministry of Health to respond to the outbreak. An immunization campaign will start May 31. The response is expected to cost in the range of US$4 million.
The virus is related to the West African virus currently causing an epidemic across Africa. The ongoing outbreak has so far re-infected 15 formerly polio-free countries and re-established transmission in six of them.
Partners in the global polio eradication initiative, including UNICEF and WHO, are supporting the Indonesian Ministry of Health to respond to the outbreak. An immunization campaign will start May 31. The response is expected to cost in the range of US$4 million.
UNICEF will contribute $1.3 million to:
* The training of 40,000 volunteers to go house to house throughout West Java province to initially register children , and then vaccinate them during the campaign.
* A face to face mobilization campaign to advise people that the children urgently need to be vaccinated.
Early investigations show that the virus was imported. Events like this are not uncommon during eradication efforts. Polio does not respect national borders and travels with ease. As long as the virus persists anywhere, all un-immunized children are at risk.
Immunity against polio in Indonesia is reported by the government at around 90 per cent generally but lower in pockets. WHO and UNICEF estimates Indonesias routine immunization coverage against childhood diseases, including polio, at 70 per cent, according to household surveys.
All rights reserved by RxPG Medical Solutions Private Limited ( www.rxpgnews.com )