Last month saw new recommendations outlined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) following the latest outbreak of the wild Poliovirus in Asia, as it seeks to halt the spread of the disease to other countries and regions across the world. The countries affected include Pakistan – which has over 270,000 visitors from Britain each year – and as CEO of The British Polio Fellowship I would like to drive home the need to check WHO’s guidelines before travelling to the country.
Travellers needing to visit infected countries including Pakistan are recommended to have a booster dose of the Polio vaccine if they have not already received one in the last ten years and those visiting affected countries should always practice strict food and water hygiene. Aside from this those visiting Pakistan or other infected areas must ensure they have an up to date vaccination certificate when departing the country, a measure enforced as a direct result of WHO’s guidelines.
The British Polio Fellowship has supported WHO’s drive to end Polio through rigorous vaccination programmes that are being administered worldwide and it is important that the hard work does not go to waste in this important time in the fight to eradicate the disease. Although only a handful of countries reported Polio cases in 2013 (including Somalia, Nigeria, Kenya, Syria and Afghanistan), 20% of the earth’s population still live in regions affected by Polio.
For more details or information on The British Polio Fellowship, call 0800 043 1935, email email@example.com or visit the website at www.britishpolio.org.uk
Ted Hill MBE
CEO, The British Polio Fellowship