Poliomyelitis eradication: Is enough being done in Nepal?

[PHP Nepal Vol 1 Issue 2 Feb 2011] | In the recent past, Department of Health Services (DoHS) has admitted that polio, “the eradication of which has been postponed four times, has now started spreading more dangerously.” This shows that not enough has been done to eradicate poliomyelitis from Nepal. However, Nepal remained polio free throughout 2009. Routine immunization coverage with Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV3) was greater than 80%. National immunization days covered was greater than 90% of the targeted population in both the rounds in all 75 districts, and all major Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) surveillance indicators were achieved. 

Moreover, according to the global polio eradication initiative recent update, no new cases of polio have been reported till this date. The total number of cases for the year 2010 remains six (all Wild Polio Virus 1s) with the most recent case on 30 August 2010. 

At this moment it seems that much has been done to eradicate polio from Nepal and Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHVs) role is plausible. National Immunization Days (NIDs) has also been regularly conducted twice a year. 

Whatsoever, poliomyelitis eradication will remain doubtful due to its closeness to India (Uttar Pradesh and Bihar covers majority of polio cases). Around 24 out of 75 districts of Nepal have open boarder with Uttar Pradesh and Bihar which are polio endemic areas. This has continuously posed threat of transmission of wild polio virus. Polio eradication of Nepal is thus linked with polio eradication in India especially in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Polio eradication strategies are only well presented in the report but not properly executed or if, poorly implemented. These strategies must be put into action.

Recently, NIDs were held on February 12-13, to be followed by another round on March 12-13. 

Let’s join hands together to make Nepal polio free country!

Milanchowk, Hemja,
Pokhara Metropolitan City, Ward No. 25,
Kaski 33700,
(+977) 061 400323