News / Asia

WHO Investigates Polio Outbreak in Tajikistan

Lisa Schlein

The World Health Organization says it is sending technical experts to Tajikistan to investigate an outbreak of seven cases of polio in the country.  It says this is the first importation of polio in the European region since Europe was certified as polio-free in 2002.

Three technical experts from WHO already have left for Tajikistan.  And, the organization says three more experts are expected to arrive in that central Asian country on Sunday.

WHO Spokeswoman for the Polio Eradication Initiative, Sona Bari, agrees this is a setback for WHO's polio eradication campaign.  She says it is a sober reminder of the need to vaccinate children against this crippling disease.

She says the technical experts will carry out a detailed investigation of the seven cases of polio to determine the country from where the virus was imported and what actions need to be taken to prevent its further spread.

"Planning is already going on for three large-scale vaccination campaigns," Bari said.  "There are about 864,000 children under the age of five that we will reach with this vaccine.  And, surrounding countries, particularly Uzbekistan and Kyrgyztan are being asked to step up their surveillance for acute flaccid paralysis, which is a sign of polio and to look into their immunization rates to make sure that children are adequately protected in those surrounding areas."  

Bari says these immunization campaigns are expensive.  She says Rotary International has given $500,000.  But, additional funding will be needed to buy the vaccines and carry out the campaigns.

She says the polio crisis comes at a time when WHO and other U.N. agencies are struggling to contain a big outbreak in Africa.

"We had a first round to deal with this, this year on the sixth of March, a second smaller round on the 26th of March.  And, now, they are starting this Saturday, about 78 million children across central and west Africa to shut down that outbreak," Bari said.  "Again, emphasizing the importance of stopping polio in the few remaining endemic countries, so that it cannot be imported out to areas where children are not adequately immunized." 

WHO Investigates Polio Outbreak in Tajikistan
WHO Investigates Polio Outbreak in Tajikistan

Bari says Tajikistan is close to two polio endemic countries - Afghanistan and Pakistan.  But, she says it is premature to identify one of these countries as the source of the virus.  She says until the genetic sequencing of the virus is completed, it will not be possible to know from where the importation came.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid