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Archive
June 1999

Short news items with a Post-Polio element gleaned from 'here, there and everywhere'. Contributions welcomed. Email linpolioweb@loncps.demon.co.uk. Please make it clear that your news item is for inclusion in NewsBites and include any source references.

29th June 1999
Officials told to cover up polio cases

In the 27th June edition of DAWN (http://dawn.com/), Pakistan's most widely circulated English language newspaper, Noel Monteiro writes:

KARACHI, June 26: The Sindh health department has asked the subordinate sections and officers to desist from reporting any polio cases. According to inside sources, health authorities wanted polio cases to go unreported "to ward of their responsibility" of vaccinating all children within a radius of two kilometres where the single polio case was reported.

They said when a single polio case was reported in an area, then according to prevalent health laws the first job of the health department was to vaccinate all the children under five years of age.

If the case occurs in the city limits, whether it occurs in a kachchi abadi or a high-rise building, then all the children under five years of age within two kilometres must be vaccinated around the single polio case.

If the case occurs in a rural area then all the children within a five kilometres radius around that single polio case must be vaccinated for polio.

They said instead of vaccinations being ordered of the area where the single polio case occurred, individual health officers and paramedical staff were instead summoned individually to the office of the director in charge of the area or the director-general of Health Services of the area and reprimanded so severely that the lower cadre health officers and paramedical staff were left in no doubt that their jobs would be on the line if they reported another case of polio.

The officers and paramedical staff who were reprimanded belong to the cadres of the District Health Officers, Field Supervisory Health Officers, Taluka Health Officers, Assistant District Health Officers, Woman Medical officers in the Rural Health Centres, Medical Officers in charge of Basic Health Units/Sub- Health Centre, Vaccinators and Lady Health Workers.

Health Department sources said the net result was that during the sub-national immunization days which were funded by the World Health Organization, or even during the normal vaccination programme, when health workers did locate polio cases, they had not reported those cases to the higher health authorities.

Noel Monteiro goes on to describe in detail "a most recent case which occurred in a kachchi abadi in one district of Karachi, a polio case was reported and health workers who went to the area were prevented by the residents from entering the area."

The article concludes with a quote from a WHO representative:

"We were supposed to have touched zero level polio cases in 1997. We have to step up efforts to achieve the target of no polio cases by the year 2000 so the province may be certified polio-free," said Dr Asad Ali Abro, the WHO representative for Sindh. The year 2000 target falls due in six months.

"There are still many pockets of polio in the urban areas let alone the rural areas. The cases should not be hidden. Instead containment measures should be undertaken, and case investigation carried out. Hiding a case is not ethically right," he said.

The complete text of the news report can be found at http://www.dawn.com/daily/19990627/nat11.htm
! The above document is no longer available. !

Notification of the news item was received via NewsIndex http://www.newsindex.com/

For Polio eradication and vaccine related resources see our directory Polio Virus, Vaccine and Eradication

[ Index ]

26th June 1999
Clamp down on fraudulent claims for remedies on the Internet

BBC News Online (http://news.bbc.co.uk/) reports:

Trading standards officers are beginning an international effort to clamp down on fraudulent claims for remedies on the Internet.

They are to discuss e-commerce with representatives of the Office of Fair Trading and industry at the Institute of Trading Standards Administration conference in Edinburgh on Saturday [today].

The debate comes just days after the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) launched Operation Cure.All, designed to prevent bogus claims appearing on the Internet and direct consumers to "good quality health information" instead.

Earlier this month the Advertising Standards Authority ruled that suppliers of magnetic bracelets and necklaces could not prove claims that they relieve pain.

The complete text of the news report, "Hunting the Net's health sharks" (Friday, June 25, 1999 Published at 23:44 GMT 00:44 UK) can be found at http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/health/newsid_378000/378247.stm

See also "Magnetic bracelets 'unproven'" (Wednesday, June 9, 1999 Published at 11:24 GMT 12:24 UK) http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/health/newsid_364000/364518.stm.

For Tutorials on researching health information on the Internet, see our directory Medical Resource Search & Index Facilities.

[ Index ]

25th June 1999
Nigeria Spends 200 Million Dollars To Immunize

In a Africa News Online (http://www.africanews.org/) report from the Panafrican News Agency (PANA) dated June 23, 1999, Francis Nwosu in Lagos writes:

The Nigerian government has so far spent 200 million US dollars on its National Programme on Immunization in the effort to safe children.

Christian Voumard, UNICEF's representative in the country, said that government spent the amount due to the agency's sustained advocacy on infant and maternal issues in the country.

"The current programme of co-operation with the government of Nigeria for the period 1997-2001 aims at reducing infant under-five and maternal mortality," he stated, adding that 14 million children were immunized against polio in May. In the next five years, UNICEF plans to tackle chronic malnutrition, improve access to universal basic education, ensure safe drinking water and create a healthy environment based on the convention on the rights of the child.

Voumard goes on to highlight the success of the campaign against the guinea worm and discuss the AIDS situation in Nigeria amongst other health issues. Of polio he had the following to add:

...over 15 million children were immunized against polio during the sub-National Immunization Days exercise in May...

He said that Nigeria is a polio reservoir nation, and cited that an effective surveillance system had revealed about 500 cases in 1998.

"It will be a reward if we could eradicate polio from Nigeria and show that Nigeria is in the front line of this global effort, the UNICEF official said. "In Nigeria, we need quick action. We cannot leave the issue to go on and on for 10 years as the WHO was collaborating very closely to ensure that polio is eradicated in Nigeria by the end of 2000."

The complete text of the news report can be found at http://www.africanews.org/west/nigeria/stories/19990623_feat1.html

Notification of the news item was received via NewsIndex http://www.newsindex.com/

For Polio eradication and vaccine related resources see our directory Polio Virus, Vaccine and Eradication

[ Index ]

24th June 1999
National Immunisation Campaign against Polio in Angola

The following is extracted from a UN Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN) report dated June 22, 1999 available from the Africa News Online (www.africanews.org) website:

Johannesburg - On 12 June, just one hour after another journey of the National Immunisation Campaign against Polio was launched, two humanitarian staff working for the Portuguese NGO IPMP (Instituto Portugues de Medicina Preventiva) were killed, another two wounded, in an ambush on the road Catete-Maria Teresa (Bengo province).

The vehicle they were using, clearly marked with the PAV logo and posters (Expanded Immunisation Programme) has been ambushed and the occupants, a team of 3 nurses and a driver, gunned. The attackers have stolen personal belongings and clothes of the IPMP staff and their medical items and left after burning the car and shooting again to the ones still moving.

The Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, Mr. Sergio Vieira de Mello, promptly reacted to this "barbaric act", happening "at a time when the humanitarian community is seeking unhindered access to assist populations in need throughout the Angolan territory". On his statement, he also urged the Government of Angola and the armed UNITA elements to take immediate and concrete measures to bring those responsible to justice, to avoid the repetition of such unacceptable acts and to improve the security and protection of humanitarian workers.

This item is delivered by the UN's IRIN humanitarian information unit (e-mail: irin@ocha.unon.org; fax: +254 2 622129; Web: http://www.reliefweb.int/IRIN), but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer.

The complete text of the news report can be found at http://www.africanews.org/south/angola/stories/19990622_feat1.html

Notification of the news item was received via NewsIndex http://www.newsindex.com/

For Polio eradication and vaccine related resources see our directory Polio Virus, Vaccine and Eradication

[ Index ]

22nd June 1999
De Beers contribute 3 million dollars towards polio eradication.

DAKAR, Senegal (PANA), June 18, 1999.

In a news report from the Pan-African News Agency (PANA), a statement released Friday by the WHO regional office in Harare, Zimbabwe, is quoted as announcing that De Beers, the giant diamond mining and trading firm, has contributed 3 million dollars towards polio eradication.

De Beers' offer for polio eradication was announced by the company's corporate communications executive, Andrew Bone, during a courtesy call on Samba [Dr. Ebrahim Samba, WHO Regional Director for Africa].

Bone said that De Beers' contribution was demonstrative of the company's policy of ''earning profits while making a real and permanent contribution'' to the lives of people in its areas of operation.

The complete text of the news report can be found at http://www.africanews.org/PANA/news/19990618/feat1.html

Notification of the news item was received via NewsIndex http://www.newsindex.com/

For Polio eradication and vaccine related resources see our directory Polio Virus, Vaccine and Eradication

[ Index ]

20th June 1999
Over 400,000 Children Vaccinated in Luanda

Panafrican News Agency June 16, 1999

Luanda, Angola (PANA) - The Coordinator of Angola's National Vaccination Programme, Filomena Wilson, has said that 400,000 children were vaccinated against poliomyelitis in Luanda Saturday. In an interview, she said that 89,459 children were vaccinated in Maianga, 71,882 in Kilamba Kiaxi, 69,406 in Cazenga, 62,406 in Sambizana and 46,170 in Cacuaco.

More than 500 children aged five years were inoculated against infantile paralysis during the first phase of the vaccination campaign that was carried out all over the country Saturday and Sunday.

Filomena added that two million children will be vaccinated against polio by the end of four campaigns. The second phase takes place from 17 to 18 June while the last one will be held from 27 to 28 August. She reiterated that parents must ensure their children get vaccination this time, even if they had done so in the previous campaigns.

The complete text of the news report can be found at http://www.africanews.org/south/angola/stories/19990616_feat5.html

Notification of the news item was received via NewsIndex http://www.newsindex.com/

For Polio eradication and vaccine related resources see our directory Polio Virus, Vaccine and Eradication

[ Index ]

18th June 1999
New polio vaccine recommendation in U.S.A.

A Reuters Health (New York) news item dated 17th June reports:

Beginning next year, US children should be vaccinated against polio with the injected, inactivated form of poliovirus vaccine only, a federal advisory panel recommended Thursday.

The move is aimed at eliminating the risk of polio following use of the live, oral vaccine. The risk of this is estimated to be 1 case in every 2.4 million doses of the oral vaccine. Those who may be affected include children who received the vaccine and susceptible adults who come into contact with the feces of these children.

The Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices, which advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), voted eight to four in favor of the recommendation, with one abstention, at a meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.

"Until recently, because of the risk of polio epidemics in the United States, the risk from the vaccine... was outweighed by the benefit from the vaccine in protection against epidemics," according to a statement from the CDC.

But the success of international polio eradication efforts means that now the risk from the oral vaccine has become relatively greater, agency officials note.

The previous changes introducing mixed IPV/OPV schedules have not, according to officials quoted in the reuters article, produced a drop off in childhood immunization coverage despite the extra injections. This prompted the Advisory Committee to make the new recommendations, "to completely eliminate the risk" of vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis the article continues.

John Salamone, of the lobby group, Informed Parents Against Vaccine-Associated Paralytic Poliomyelitis who, speaking to Reuters after the meeting, characterized the decision as "the culmination of 5 years of work" for his organization, also emphasised

"It is important that parents know that they don't have to wait until January 2000," he said. "If they are going to have their children vaccinated, they can request inactivated polio vaccine tomorrow."

The complete text of the news report can be found at http://www.reutershealth.com/eline/open/1999061713.html
! The above document is no longer available. !

See also NewsBites 6th January 1999 "OPV is no longer recommended for the first two doses of the polio series, except in special circumstances. (U.S.A.)".

For Polio eradication and vaccine related resources see our directory Polio Virus, Vaccine and Eradication

[ Index ]

13th June 1999
BBC News Online - World: South Asia Push to beat polio in Afghanistan

Thursday, June 10, 1999 Published at 17:12 GMT 18:12 UK

BBC Correspondent William Reeve reports from Kabul

The Taleban and the opposition in Afghanistan have both given an undertaking to ensure that supplies reach all areas for the next round of the United Nations polio immunization programme for Afghan children beginning this Sunday [today].

During the latest round of the UN polio immunization days which took place last month, fighting continued in the central Hazarajat region of the country, hampering the programme there.

Some supplies have already been flown across front lines by the International Committee of the Red Cross but there are still more supplies to follow by road.

As a goal, the United Nations says it wants to eradicate polio all around the world by the year 2000 but in Afghanistan, polio is still endemic.

Twenty years of warfare have hampered attempts to immunize all Afghan children against the disease.

The complete text of the news report can be found at http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/south_asia/newsid_365000/365985.stm

For Polio eradication and vaccine related resources see our directory Polio Virus, Vaccine and Eradication

[ Index ]

DATELINE
29th June 1999
Officials told to cover up polio cases.
*
26th June 1999
Clamp down on fraudulent claims for remedies on the Internet.
*
25th June 1999
Nigeria Spends 200 Million Dollars To Immunize.
*
24th June 1999
National Immunisation Campaign against Polio in Angola.
*
22nd June 1999
De Beers contribute 3 million dollars towards polio eradication.
*
20th June 1999
Over 400,000 Children Vaccinated in Luanda.
*
18th June 1999
New polio vaccine recommendation in U.S.A.
*
13th June 1999
BBC News Online - World: South Asia Push to beat polio in Afghanistan.
*
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Document preparation: Chris Salter, Original Think-tank, Cornwall, United Kingdom.
Primary Document Reference: <URL:http://www.ott.zynet.co.uk/polio/lincolnshire/archive/nbit199906.html>
Alternate Document Reference: <URL:http://www.zynet.co.uk/ott/polio/lincolnshire/archive/nbit199906.html>
Last modification: 13th April 2009.
Last information content change: 13th April 2009.

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