Saturday, June 15, 2024
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“Make Polio History”, Ethiopia celebrates World Polio Day

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The International Polio Day was celebrated for the 11th time in Ethiopia with the guiding idea of “Let’s eradicate polio together”.

The International Polio Day which was organized jointly by the Ministry of Health and its pertinent polio partners, doubled down on the notion that coordinated efforts still need to be done to create a polio- free Ethiopia and Africa.

“Work is being done to eradicate polio worldwide and to provide access to vaccines to protect children from this disease,” the Ministry of Health revealed.

In June 2017, Ethiopia was certified wild polio (WPV) free status following the standard certification process conducted by the African Regional Certification Commission for Polio Eradication. Nonetheless, Ethiopia has remained at high risk for importation and circulation of Vaccine Derived Polio Virus (VDPV) and WPV due to high cross border population movement and low population immunity.

Recently, Ethiopia has been affected by several Type II circulating Vaccine Derived Polio Virus (cVDPV2) outbreaks during the period 2019-2022. As response to these outbreaks, the country has been conducting successful mOPV2 /nOPV2 supplementary immunization activities of cVDPV2 affected and nearby risk zones. 

Dr. Paul Mainuka, the representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) asserted that, “The WHO will keep its promise until polio is eradicated from Ethiopia.”

As highlighted, the WHO Ethiopia has reaffirmed its commitment to the polio outbreak response assessment (OBRA) and has underlined to strengthen its work alongside the government and partners to support the implementation of the OBRA recommendations and to enhance the overall implementation of GPEI strategies. 

Ethiopia has been implementing the main polio eradication strategies set by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) since 1996.

As stated in the panel discussion, 99.9 percent of the work done to rid the world of polio has been successful and it is known that efforts are being made to eliminate the rest of the disease from Ethiopia.

World Polio Day  is a day often celebrated to provide an opportunity to highlight global efforts toward a polio-free world and to honor the tireless contributions of those on the frontlines in the fight to eradicate polio from every corner of the globe. 

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