Childhood diseases on rise as COVID-19 fuels major backslide on routine childhood vaccinations

AFRICA – UN agencies have reported that nearly 23 million children missed out on routine vaccinations last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the highest number in more than a decade, fueling outbreaks of measles, polio and other preventable diseases. Measles, one of the world’s most contagious diseases, can be fatal to children under the age of five, especially in African and Asian countries with weak health systems, according to the World Health Organization. Polio can cripple a child for life. The gap in global vaccination coverage has set up…

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Kenyan scientists analyze sewage for antibiotic resistance given previous success in polio aversion

KENYA – Scientists in Kenya have managed to analyze the extent and state of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the country from sewage samples collected in the country’s capital Nairobi. AMR refers to the phenomenon of disease-causing microorganisms such as bacteria evolving to withstand attacks from medicine meant to eradicate them and is a deadly threat to human survival. In 2018, the Kenyan ministry of health discovered a vaccine-derived polio outbreak when studying sewage samples in Nairobi. They immediately launched a renewed polio campaign targeting 2.8 million children in high risk…

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Countries reaffirm commitment to end polio at launch of new eradication strategy

GENEVA – The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) has launched the Polio Eradication Strategy 2022-2026: Delivering on a Promise at a virtual event, to overcome the remaining challenges to ending polio, including setbacks caused by COVID-19. While polio cases have fallen 99.9% since 1988, polio remains a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) and persistent barriers to reaching every child with polio vaccines and the pandemic have contributed to an increase in polio cases. Last year, 1226 cases of all forms of polio were recorded compared to 138 in…

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