The Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) said that the recent developments were regrettable to the affected children and their families. World health leaders meeting in Geneva for the World Health Assembly have called for immediate action to eradicate polio. According to the Dawn newspaper , delegates to the recent World Health Assembly concluded that there was a good chance of effective action against the polio virus, but warned that this opportunity would not be available indefinitely. The warning comes after experts pointed to recent developments in Pakistan, such as the confirmation of new cases, the first cases reported in 15 months in Southeast Africa and the re-emergence of polio in Ukraine and Israel. A recent press release issued by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative states that recent efforts have had a significant impact on the global polio virus epidemic, which has resulted in a very low level of polio virus transmission, which is now limited to It is present in Pakistan and Afghanistan and efforts are being made to curb it.It said steps had been taken under the Strategic Action Plan to secure the polio eradication system and prevent polio transmission. Addressing the assembly, Director General of the WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Gabrias, said: “The alarming developments in recent months indicate how fragile this strategy is.”He said that this development is unfortunate for the affected children and their families but the fact is that it is not unexpected in the last stages of the eradication effort. “This year we have a real opportunity to stop the transmission of the polio virus. At the same time, we need to respond quickly and effectively to the spread of CVDPV so that the transmission can be stopped completely by the end of 2023,” he said.
Ministers and high-level delegations from 20 countries affected by WPV-1 and CVDPV met with senior GPEI leaders to focus on concrete ways to break the deadlock over virus transmission. The meetings were chaired by Dr. Chris Ellis, Chair of the Polio Oversight Board of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Regional Directors of the respective WHO AFRO and EMRO.
Key priorities include the importance of co-ordination and co-operation between countries, including access to children not receiving polio vaccines, complex emergencies and challenges to fragile health systems.”It is important for polio-affected countries that you reach out to every child and spread the vaccine as quickly as you want to eradicate the virus,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Gabrieus.
Read more: Rawalpindi: Cases registered against polio team for abusing work He said it was important for polio-free countries to step up their efforts to utilize their polio assets and infrastructure in order to build a stronger, more flexible health system.
“Please, all partners and donors, help us to take advantage of this moment to raise funds and eradicate polio,” he added.