WHO declares UNICEF end of polio outbreak in the Philippines

Manila, Philippines — According to the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund, the outbreak of polio in the Philippines is over. It praises the government’s efforts to combat the disease despite the coronavirus epidemic.

In a joint statement on Friday, UN agencies ended their response to polio outbreaks on June 3, after 16 months of undetected cases after extensive vaccination campaigns and surveillance. Said.

Philippine health officials announced that polio reappeared in September 2019, about 20 years after WHO declared that Southeast Asian countries were free of viral diseases that could cause paralysis and death. Did. There is no known cure.

Since then, government health officials, backed by WHO and UNICEF, have significantly expanded the anti-polio campaign that continued despite the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. Approximately 30 million oral polio vaccines were given to children throughout the Philippines.

Baby receives oral anti-polio vaccine
On September 20, 2019, a baby was vaccinated with an oral anti-polio vaccine during the start of a campaign to end the revival of polio after health officials confirmed a case of polio in Quezon City, Philippines. (BullitMarquez / File / AP photo)

“This is a big win for public health and a great example of what collective efforts can achieve during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinge, WHO of the Philippines. Stated.

The promotion of polio vaccination also faced fear, including another vaccine.

The government’s vaccination program was injured by the dengue vaccine made by the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pastool in 2017. This is related to the deaths of at least three children by some Filipino officials.

The government stopped promoting dengue vaccination after Sanofi showed that the vaccine could increase the risk of severe dengue infection. The campaign, which started in 2016 and was discontinued in 2017, has given more than 830,000 children vaccinated with dengue.

Sanofi officials said the Dengvaxia vaccine is safe and will reduce dengue infection if vaccination continues to be promoted.

Since then, Filipino health officials have struggled to regain public confidence in the vaccine.

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