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$665 mn needed to avert measles, polio outbreak: WHO – The Tribune India

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, Nov 6

UNICEF and the World Health Organisation today issued an urgent call for funding to avert measles and polio epidemics as Covid-19 continues to disrupt immunisation services worldwide, leaving millions of vulnerable children at heightened risk of preventable childhood diseases.

829 teachers, 575 students +ve in AP

  • Hyderabad: As many as 829 teachers and 575 students have tested positive for Covid-19 after the schools reopened in Andhra Pradesh on November 2. Classes resumed for ninth and 10th and second year Intermediate students three days ago.
  • The state government started testing students from Monday, but the reports (received on Thursday) threw up a large number of positive students and teachers across all 13 districts of the state.
  • Official are now saying that those who tested positive had come to schools with infection rather than picking up the virus in schools. Tns

The two organisations estimate that US$655 million (US$400 million for polio and US$255 million for measles) are needed to address dangerous immunity gaps in non GAVI (Global Vaccine Alliance) countries and target age groups.

“Covid-19 has had a devastating effect on health services and in particular immunisation services, worldwide,” said Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

He said: “Unlike with Covid, we have the tools and knowledge to stop diseases such as polio and measles. What we need are the resources and commitments to put these tools and knowledge into action. If we do that, children’s lives will be saved,” he said.

In recent years, there has been a global resurgence of measles with ongoing outbreaks in all parts of the world. Vaccination coverage gaps have been further exacerbated in 2020 by Covid.

In 2019, measles climbed to the highest number of new infections in more than two decades.

At the same time, polio virus transmission is expected to increase in Pakistan and Afghanistan and in many under-immunised areas of Africa.

Failure to eradicate polio now would lead to global resurgence of the disease, resulting in as many as 200,000 new cases annually, within 10 years, the organisations warned.

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