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Deyalsingh says T&T children safe

Published: 
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Polio resurfaces in Venezuela

In the wake of polio resurfacing in Venezuela after 30 years, in an area directly southwest of T&T, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh has assured that T&T children are vaccinated against polio.

“The vaccine is a requirement for all T&T children to enter schools, so we have a 97 per cent rate of vaccination against polio—no child can get into a school in T&T without a polio vaccination,” Deyalsingh said yesterday.

Polio, or poliomyelitis, is a crippling childhood disease. It is preventable through immunisation.

Polio is a communicable disease. It spreads through human-to-human contact, usually entering the body through the mouth due to fecally contaminated water or food (faecal-oral transmission). In areas with poor sanitation, the virus easily spreads from faeces into the water supply, or by touch, into food. Because polio is so contagious, direct contact with a person infected with the virus can cause polio.

Deyalsingh acknowledged international reports about the resurfacing of polio in Venezuela.

In the last 24 hours, overseas media including the Telegraph and Medical Express announced polio has reappeared in Venezuela, 30 years after that country had declared it had eradicated polio.

The case which confirmed the disease had resurfaced was found in the eastern state of Delta Amacuro, the Telegraph reported. Maps show Delta Amacuro is directly southwest of T&T. The town of Tucupita is west of Delta Amacuro.

Reports credited the country’s economic crash’s crippling effects on its healthcare system as contributing to the polio problem. It was noted that basic vaccine coverage was falling amid Venezuela’s political and economic crisis.

Venezuela is also facing increases in measles, malaria, diphtheria, tuberculosis, and malaria. The Venezuelan Opposition claims the Maduro administration is not approving funds for vaccines.

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