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Eradicating polio 
Today is Pulse Polio Day

In May 1988, the World Health Assembly, governing body of the World Health Organisation (WHO), resolved to eradicate polio from the world. Eradication of the disease involves both halting the incidence of the disease and the eradication of the virus that causes it. The Pulse Polio Immunisation Programme was launched in India in 1995. Under this, every child under the age of five years is given oral polio drops.

Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus. It invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours. The virus enters the body through the mouth and multiplies in the intestines. Initial symptoms are fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness in the neck and pain in the limbs. One in 200 infections leads to irreversible paralysis (usually in the legs). Among the paralysed patients, 5-10 per cent die when their breathing muscles become immobilised.

The polio virus can survive for long periods in the environment. In cold environment, it can live in water for four months and in feces for six months. However, the virus can be rapidly inactivated by pasteurisation or a variety of physical and chemical agents.

Polio cases are most infectious seven to 10 days before and after the onset of symptoms. In the feces, the virus is excreted commonly up to weeks and at times up to four months.

Polio mainly affects children under three years of age. The most vulnerable age is between 6 months and 3 years.

Polio is more likely to occur during the rainy reason. The sources of infection are contaminated water, food and flies. The faecal-oral route is the main route of spread in developing countries.

The incubation period is usually seven to 14 days.

The oral polio vaccine (OPV) does not have to be administered by a trained health worker; it can be given by volunteers.

The short-term shedding of vaccine virus in the stools of recently immunised children means that in areas where hygiene and sanitation are poor, and the incidence of polio is likely to be high, immunisation with the OPV can result in “passive” immunisation of persons in close contact. The unique ability of the OPV to induce intestinal local immunity is probably responsible for the extraordinary effect of its mass campaigns in interrupting polio virus transmission.

Children should get four doses of vaccine at these ages: 2 months, 4 months, 12-18 months, and 4-6 years.

Complete eradication of the polio virus from human environment is possible only when all children up to 5 years are given polio drops simultaneously.

— Dr Anil Dheer



Seven-year-old thalassaemia patient needs help
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 9
Seven-year-old Alisha weighs only 11 kgs. Suffering from thalassaemia major he is unable to even sit or eat as his spleen has become oversized, capturing his entire abdomen. And to make the matters worse the paucity of funds is a big hindrance in his treatment.

“He has stopped growing and requires blood transfusion every week," said Mr Kewal Malhotra, president, Punjab Thalassaemics' Welfare Society, a registered society of the parents of thalassaemic children.

The child, so far, had been undergoing the most economical treatment, oral medication alongwith blood transfusion. “But with the enlargement of his spleen he is no longer able to take the treatment. Moreover, due to oral medication extra iron was not being removed from his body, which will have to be done now," the doctors say.

According to the doctors, he will have to undergo a surgery after which he will require extra medicine to remove iron from his body. "The surgery will cost around Rs 20,000 and his medicines another 3,000-4,000 every month, which his family cannot afford as his mother barely manages to make the two ends meet," Mr Malhotra said.

To generate funds for Alisha's treatment, the Thalassaemic Society had gone to a few schools. "That was about four months ago, but it did not yield the desired results," he said, adding, "the boy's condition is critical now. The doctors have advised him to go in for the surgery at the earliest."

While a leading hospital has been providing free blood, for further treatment he would require extra money, not merely for the surgery, but for medicines thereafter also, he said.

"Each day is important as even after the funds are arranged, it will take about 10 to 12 days before we can go in for the surgery. Till then, the child can neither take any food, nor medicines," a doctor said.

Those interested in donating for the cause can get in touch with Mr Kewal Malhotra, president, PTWS, on his mobile number 98145-30735.



Workshop on critical care monitoring
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 9
The Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, organised the third Frank Prior Oration and the live workshop on critical care monitoring today.

The event was inaugurated by Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana. In his inaugural address, Mr Verma highlighted the efforts of CMCH to support the city’s administration during the tragic incidents such as the Khud Mohalla fire tragedy.

Dr Johan Abraham, Medical Superintendent, CMCH, on behalf of the hospital administration, assured complete support to the administration in such projects.

Dr Ann Thyle Mussoorie delivered the lecture. She highlighted the teachings of Dr Frank Prior in his words: “Do what you can, discover, teach and build others and above all serve the humanity”.

Giving details on the workshop, Dr Lalita Afzal, Professor and Head, Anaesthesiology, CMCH, said: “Intensive monitoring is becoming a mandatory tool in the management of critically-ill patients.”

Dr S.P. Ambesh, SGPGI, Lucknow, Dr Yatin Mehta, Escorts, New Delhi, and Dr H. Dash, Professor and Head Neuroanaesthesiology, AIIMS, New Delhi, conducted the scientific sessions and live demonstration on the management of critically-ill patients and others with severe head injuries, respectively. 



Body-building title for Manmeet Grewal
Our Correspondent

Doraha, October 9
Eighteen-year-old Manmeet Grewal has won the above-90-kg title at the North India Open Body-Building Championship in his first attempt. He is a final-year BCom student of Guru Nanak National College here.

Manmeet had been doing body-building exercises regularly. He had failed to convince his mother to pursue it as his hobby. When he met his friend and coach Navdeep Sharma last week, he was told about the competition being organised by the All-India Hitashi Sports Educational Association.

He said today, “Body building is my passion. My father has been bearing costs of my diet. I will now take part in university competitions in December. I cannot be satisfied with anything less than the Mr Universe or Mr Olympia title.”



Six-a-side hockey league
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, October 9
Eight teams have confirmed their participation in the Second Bibi Surjit Kaur Memorial Six-a-Side Hockey League Tournament being organised by the Mata Sahib Kaur Sports Club at Jarkhar village, near here, from October 15 to 18, according to Mr Jagroop Singh Jarkhar, a spokesman for the club.

Mr Gurmail Singh Sangowal, an SGPC member, will inaugurate the tournament during which the matches will be played on league-cum-knock-out basis. The winners and runners-up will be given prizes by the club.


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