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Polio free Nepal

Friday, March 28th, 2014
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Nepal has been formally declared a polio-free country. The seventh meeting of the World Health Organisation’s South-East Asia Regional Certification Commission for Polio Eradication has declared eleven countries of South-East Asia, including Nepal, polio-free in New Delhi on Thursday.

Regional Director of Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh handed over the certificate to Nepali Health Minister Khag Raj Adhikari and Dr. Badri Raj Pandey, head of the National Certification Committees for Polio Eradication at the programme. India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Indonesia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste also received the polio-free recognition.

“Today we join three other WHO regions to be proudly labeled as polio free,” Regional Director Singh said at the programme. “I thank the member states for their commitment in the policies and recourse and sustained efforts to get the job done, and done well.”

While congratulating the states on their achievement, Singh warned that the region cannot let its guard down and will have to continue surveillance to ensure that polio does not resurface.

According to the WHO, a country is declared polio-free after it has no polio case for three consecutive years. The last case reported in Nepal was in 30 August 2010 in Rautahat.

“Even after the declaration, we will continue our campaign against polio in the country,” Sambhu Gyawali of Child Health Division told nepalnews.com. “Under the end-polio strategy we will intensify our polio drop campaign and administer injections against polio as well.”

The last nation-wide polio drop campaign in December 2013 was able to achieve over 90 percent coverage. Door-to-door polio drop was administered to ensure that no child under five years of age is left out from the drive against polio.

 

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