by Ayele Addis Ambelu

File photo ARMA

This infectious disease, which is said to have no cure but a vaccine, mainly attacks children who have not been vaccinated. Efforts to eradicate polio continue as done in Europe and America by distributing the vaccine to every country under the coordination of the United Nations.

According to data, many countries have succeeded in eradicating childhood abuse from their countries. Where did the effort to eradicate polio from the world come from?

A childhood experience, namely the effort to eradicate polio

An ancient petroglyph found in Egypt showing a man with a crippled leg has been taken as an indication that polio existed before the birth of Christ. The information indicates that the picture was drawn between 1580 and 1350; thus, it shows that polio is a disease that has been around for thousands of years. It has been a severe public health problem for many years without a solution. Childhood measles has been a dreaded infectious disease, especially in the 20th century, even in industrialized countries, paralyzing thousands of children. However, the vaccine discovered in the 1950s and 1960s of the Gregorian era has been recorded as being able to control the polio virus and eradicate this health problem from these countries. At the time, the pre-industrialized world was struggling with polio, but childhood experiences in developing countries were not seen as a significant health problem. Ten years after the vaccine was effective, a survey conducted in developing countries revealed that this disease, which causes paralysis, has also spread here. It was after this that in the 1970s and 80s, to help developing countries prevent polio, the vaccine was included in the immunization programs of countries that should be given to children. In the Gregorian year 1985, when the international effort to provide the childhood polio vaccine to children was started, at that time, more than a thousand children were infected with polio every day. The vaccination campaign has been strengthened through various international organizations, and since then, it has been possible to deliver the vaccine to more than 2.5 billion children. Through this effort, the countries of North and South America were freed from the threat of polio due to Pan-Americanism and the determination to protect health in 1991. 2002, the World Health Organization recorded that Europe was free from this health problem. Although it is said that most Asian countries are accessible from the risk of child abuse, the health problem in Afghanistan and Pakistan remains a concern because of its contagion. It has been announced that most African countries will be free from the threat of polio by the year 2020 due to the ongoing vaccination campaign.

The changes caused by the vaccine

The conference held in Addis Ababa in mid-July of last year regarding the survey of the polio epidemic evaluated how successful the ongoing childhood immunization campaign and follow-up would be in preventing the second type of polio. The World Health Organization office in Ethiopia has indicated that it has identified the deficiency and discussed ways to strengthen the prevention of the disease.

According to the World Health Organization, polio is an infectious disease spread from person to person, mainly through contaminated water and soil particles. In addition, health experts warn that it can also be transmitted due to the leakage of infected people when they sneeze and sneeze. As the disease is primarily related to sanitation, it has been seen that it has spread in areas where poverty has worsened. A person with polio usually has no symptoms. Some may experience flu-like symptoms such as fever and sore throat for a few days; Some may experience severe pain.

Since the middle of the 20th century, the intensive vaccination campaign has reduced childhood polio risk by 99%. However, due to the rapid spread and variety of the pathogen, it is not safe to say that the threat of polio is over. That is why it is recommended that children up to the age of five should receive the vaccine.

Ethiopia’s progress in controlling the polio outbreak is highly commended
The Health Minister, Dr. Lia Tadesse, discussed with Rotary National Polio Plus committee chair Teguest Yilma and Senior Program Officer at BMGF & WHO colleagues Andrew Stein.

They discussed the pressing agenda of new poliovirus cases in Africa and beyond.

On occasion, Ethiopia’s progress in controlling the polio outbreak through national campaigns, surveillance, and strengthening routine immunization despite the challenges is highly commended, and further support on polio in those, IPV, and more will assist the country’s effort to end polio.