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UNICEF, WHO up against measles, polio

WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Nov. 10, 2020 2 min read

2 min read

THE United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have called on countries across the world to take arms against measles and polio as the COVID-19 pandemic goes on to disrupt immunisation processes.

Reports from UNICEF show that there has been a resurgence of measles with on-going outbreaks throughout the world recently, adding that 2019 reported the highest new measles infections in more than two decades. The reports add that the poliovirus is expected to increase 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,” says UNICEF.
UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said the fight against COVID-19 has disrupted the efforts to combat other diseases.

She has therefore called for global action from country leaders, donors and partners to protect children against other epidemics including measles and polio.

We need additional financial resources to safely resume vaccination campaigns and prioritise immunisation systems that are critical to protect children and avert other epidemics besides COVID-19,” Ms Fore also said.
WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has emphasised the need for resources and commitment to prevent the spread of diseases such as polio and measles.


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“We have the tools and knowledge to stop diseases such as polio and measles. What we need are the resources and commitment to put these tools and knowledge into action. If we do that, children's lives will be saved,” he stated.
Reports show that measles vaccination prevented 23.2 million deaths between 2000 and 2018, adding that polio was almost eradicated before the COVID-19 outbreak.

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