Pakistan flooding brings polio fears

Health officials in Pakistan are scrambling to shore up the nation’s threatened health care networks following floods that have caused untold damage to the nation.

Polio response teams in Pakistan have ramped up efforts to treat displaced persons and respond to the threat of disease outbreak generally and polio specifically, ReliefWeb reports.
The response teams, whose responsibilities typically run to the vaccination and enumeration of persons throughout Pakistan, are being rerouted and re-missioned throughout Pakistan, with particular attention being paid to the hardest hit areas.
All persons traditionally dispatched for the various aspects of polio eradication - both epidemiologists and survey officials - have been transferred to assist in the overview and retrenchment of services in the flood-beleaguered South Asian Country, ReliefWeb reports. The three areas of focus are damage assessment, early-warning-system development and immunization planning, delivery and maintenance.
As pleas for help continue and aid pours in from the around the world, conditions on the ground continue to be staggering. Pakistan’s Ministry of Health plans to utilize available polio workers in an effort to vaccinate all displaced children under the age of five from polio. Children will also be given the measles vaccine, with the worst flooded areas tended to first By 2011, the government hopes to have vaccinated all children, including those in non-affected areas.