Syria government accused jihadists from Pakistan of outbreak of poliomyelitis

The minister of social policy of Syria Kinda al-Shammat claimed that the reason of the outbreak of poliomyelitis in Syria was Pakistan jihadists. The minister has reported that the government is starting the children vaccination  campaign; however, she has not specified how the vaccination will be carried out on the territories which are under control of the rebels where the nidus of infection is located.

Thousands of foreign soldiers including the Islamists from Pakistan have joined the Sunnite rebels who are fighting against the regime of the President Bashar al-Assad.

Poliomyelitis has been eliminated in the developed countries but remains an endemic disease in Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Several days ago the World Health Organization has confirmed the supposition of poliomyelitis outbreak in Syria by means of the laboratory analysis of the collected samples. Out of 22 registered cases 10 are confirmed, while the results of the other 12 cases will be known after the completion of all the tests. The samples have been collected in the region of the town Deir ez-Zor on the north-east of Syria not far away of the Iraqi border.  Over 100,000 children in the region are in the risk group.

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), after more than two years of the civil war the system of the healthcare in Syria has been practically destroyed: 60 percent of the hospitals and one third of the medical centers have been totally ruined or damaged and the medical staff fled. The executive director of the UNICEF Anthony Lake during his visit to the medical centre in the capital of Syria Damascus addressed all the belligerents with the plea to provide immediate access of the members of the UNICEF and voluntary assistants to do the immunization of the unvaccinated children. Islamic radicals are known to often hamper vaccination.

Poliomyelitis is a highly infectious disease caused by the virus which mainly affects children under the age of five. The virus affects the nervous system and can result in the irreversible paralysis within several hours or even in death. There is no medicine against poliomyelitis; the disease can be prevented only with the help of vaccination.

It is considered that until at least one infected child remains in the world, there is a risk of contamination of all the children.

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