India Opinion Social Issues Top

Say No to Polio!!

What does the next door boy feel when he sits in his balcony and watches the neighborhood children play football? Can we even imagine his pain? I see my brother making fun of him when the boy tries to walks. He is handicapped. He was deprived of polio drops. Who are culpable for the boy’s situation? His parents, his weak immunity system or his friendship with the servant’s son who has the same disease? He has absolutely no friends. The society blames his parents for having allowed him to play with their servant’s son. However, is this argument justifiedThe society has to understand that polio drops are lifelines for their children.

Polio has been eradicated to an extent of 99% across the globe, although countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan and Northern Nigeria are still battling this disease. Isn’t it a shame that in the 21st century we pretend to be techno savvy yet we are not able to exterminate polio.

Sadly, when a child is infected with poliovirus, the viruses begin to multiply within the cells that line the back of the throat, nose and intestines. Polio symptoms usually appear 7 to 14 days after a person becomes infected with the poliovirus. This period is known as polio incubation period.

It is true that in 95 percent cases polio shows no symptoms which still become endemic for those innocent souls. While the minor symptoms of polio are fever, nausea, vomiting and constipation, the adverse symptom is leg paralysis. Poliomyelitis is a disease that causes lameness among children. It can cripple a child for lifetime. According to WHO reports, for one in every 200 cases, the polio virus passes to the spinal cord where it can destroy the nerve cells which activate the muscles. This damage is irreversible. The nerve cells cannot be replaced, the muscles affected no longer function and the outcome is lifelong paralysis. This disease mainly affects children under three but older children can catch it too. Adult cases are very rare.

Oral polio vaccine provides effective immunity against all the three types of polio virus. This is safe and effective. Infant should be administered polio doses on time. The doses given to infants should be like

  • First dose in 6 weeks
  • Second dose in 10 weeks
  • Third dose within 14 weeks

India’s accomplishment was a triumph of consistent and strong political will as well as international coordination. It has given a huge impetus to the global fight against polio. In 1988, the disease claimed 350,000 people across the world. In 2012, the global numbers were 222.

It is our social responsible to inform those who are uninformed about the importance of polio drops. An important consideration here is the fact that if India wants to be freed from polio it has to lend a hand to its neighboring country, Pakistan, in order to nullify polio patients. This is possible if we take a pledge in ending this endemic disease. Say no to polio.

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