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Indonesia to vaccinate five million children in polio scare JAKARTA - Indonesia has launched a massive vaccination campaign expected to reach more than five million children after detecting its first case of polio in a decade. A 20-month-old girl was diagnosed with polio on April 21 and authorities believe she came in contact with a migrant worker or tourist who had contracted the disease while outside the country.

The case – the first since 1995 – prompted government health workers to undertake house-to-house vaccinations in four neighbouring villages, intensify surveillance and eventually vaccinate 5.2 million children under five by July. “A case of polio has been detected in Indonesia,” said Dr Bardan Rana, a World Health Organisation medical officer investigating the case. “This is an imported cae. Somebody must have brought it in, spread around and then the person came in contact with the child.”

Indonesia is the latest polio-free country to find a new case. Since 2003, 15 other previously polio-free countries have reported new cases, after a vaccine boycott in Nigeria was blamed for causing an outbreak that spread the disease to other countries. Rana said he expected to see a few more cases in Indonesia but said that the government was doing everything necessary to contain the disease found in the west Java village of Girijaya.

Hardline Islamic clerics in northern Nigeria led the immunisation boycott, claiming that the polio vaccine was part of a US-led plot to render Nigeria’s Muslims infertile or infect them with Aids. Vaccination programmes restarted in Nigeria in July 2004 after local officials ended the 11-month boycott. Polio then re-emerged in Sudan, where it had been eradicated in 2001, and the strain was traced to Nigeria. The disease has infected 149 people in Sudan.

The Nigerian polio strain then spread to Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia, but vaccination campaigns averted major outbreaks. The virus also spread to other African and Middle Eastern countries – Benin, Chad, Cameroon, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Togo and Yemen. Polio is still endemic in Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Niger, Afghanistan and Egypt.

Last year, some 1,267 people were infected in the world – with 792 of those in Nigeria. The total new cases of April 29 stands at 110, according to the WHO, with Nigeria, Sudan and Yemen listed as the worst-affected countries. Polio is a water-borne disease that usually infects young children, attacking the nervous system and causing paralysis, muscular atrophy, deformation and sometimes death.


Link to related event Related event:
Polio in Indonesia

Related blog entry (category 'Polio') Related blog entry (category 'Polio'):
03 May 2005 · African polio found in Indonesia


Posted in Polio @ 03 May 2005 00:02 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink





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34 new polio cases in Indonesia for total of 100


The World Health Organization on Tuesday reported 34 new polio cases in Indonesia, bringing the country's known total to 100. One of the new cases was confirmed on Sumatra, which until last week was polio-free.


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Polio vaccination drive largely successful


Indonesia's nationwide drive last week to vaccinate about 24 million young children against a spreading polio outbreak was largely successful though some parents continued to resist, health officials said Monday.


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