DRC HIT BY POLIO EPIDEMIC




Ilknur Şebnem Öztemel-TDO-16.06.2017- Two separate polio outbreaks happened in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). World Health Organization (WHO) and some other international donators started working to eradicate the disease.

In Haut-Lomami and Maniema provinces of DRC, people are suffering from polio epidemic which can paralyze children. Also, the pandemic was seen in some sub-regions of Syria recently.  Unfortunately, both of them are vaccine-derived polio that is much more infectious than wild polio and there is no cure except a vaccine which can only be used as a pre-emptive measure.

WHO’s new head, Tedris Adhaom, said: “We must finish the job properly to ensure that there is no chance of this terrible disease coming back”. In 1988, there was an international consensus to end polio by 2000. In those years, each day 1,000 children were paralyzed by polio.  After those attempts, it has been reduced by more than 99.9%.

Conflict, political instability, economic disabilities and bad infrastructure can be counted as the main reasons for it. All of these affect the DRC, Nigeria, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan, which are the ‘’stronghold’’ of polio.