Promoting health through the life-course [2016 World Polio Day]
[24 October 2016]
World Polio Day was established by Rotary International over a decade ago to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk, who led the first team to develop a vaccine against poliomyelitis. Use of this inactivated poliovirus vaccine and subsequent widespread use of the oral poliovirus, developed by Albert Sabin, led to the establishment of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in 1988. As of 2013, GPEI had reduced polio worldwide by 99%.
Polio is a crippling and potentially fatal infectious disease. There is no cure, but there are safe and effective vaccines. Polio can be prevented through immunization. Polio vaccine, given multiple times, almost always protects a child for life. The strategy to eradicate polio is therefore based on preventing infection by immunizing every child until transmission stops and the world is polio-free.
Nepal has been maintaining certificate standard AFP surveillance since 2001. The surveillance system is sensitive enough to detect polio cases and circulating derived poliovirus. Nepal was declared polio -free by the Regional Certification Commission on 27 March 2014. Nepal adopted the strategies developed by the WHO such as active AFP surveillance, Routine Immunization, SIAs and Mop-up to achieve the goal of Polio eradication. The CHD took lead in planning, delivering and managing the National Immunization Program including polio throughout the country. The community based interventions together with the national and international learning have been accounted for this success in the functional partnership and community based approaches.