[Polio is a combination of poverty, malnourishment, unhealthy living conditions, unclean water and the presence of pesticides and other neurotoxins in water and in the food chain, besides the environment. Had the tens of thousands of crores wasted in the OPV drive been used to tackle these obstacles in UP and Bihar, polio would have gone by now. But again we are being told of another vaccine.
I can vouch that polio will not be curbed by any vaccine. However to save face the government will now resort to statistical manipulation, or worse, let the polio cases justify the introduction of more and more vaccines.
The vaccine against pneumonia launched this year costs Rs. 3000/- and the company (MNC) introducing it will earn a gross income of 11,500 crores in a single year. This vaccine can cause pneumonia, as per pediatricians of the USA, and as per WHO documents will increase cases of asthma. It is a pity and a matter of shame that our children are being sacrificed for the sake of higher profits.
And what will happen to those 65,000 children who, as per the IMA, have been paralysed because of the OPV? When will they be identified and compensated?
And who is this Bill Gates to promote vaccines? Is he a doctor? GAVI is gifting expensive cars to politicians in Pakistan, as per the Govt of Pakistan Audit Report, to promote the OPV. What is Bill Gates offering to promote the IPV? It is high time we asked questions.
Why is this man in India to promote vaccines? What is in there for him? Who are the forces behind him? What is the overall Agenda? Why is he promoting Obama? Why is Obama interested in the "health of India"? How much has Obama received from the pharmaceutical majors as campaign donations?
How much will Bill Gates donate towards the coming elections in India? Which political party will he promote? Why is our Health Minister falling at the feet of this man?
Friends, please pray for the children of India. - Jagannath]
Gates: Help at hand
New Delhi, Nov. 7: The health ministry has for the first time signalled its concerns about the efficacy of a vaccine it has been using against polio, saying it is ready to examine new strategies to accelerate eradication efforts.
A group of experts will meet next week to discuss new strategies, including the possibility of introducing an injectible polio vaccine (IPV) that has never been used in India's public immunisation programme, officials said.
The government has been relying on an oral polio vaccine (OPV) to combat polio, but several studies, the earliest conducted more than 30 years ago, have questioned its efficacy.
The ministry said yesterday that at least 315 children (64 per cent) among 499 paralysed by the wild polio virus from January through October this year had already received 10 or more doses of OPV.
Health officials say that while OPV has succeeded in ejecting the wild polio virus from most Indian states, the persistence of polio in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar has proved frustrating.
"A fatigue has set in," said an official who was part of a round-table meeting called by the health ministry earlier this week. "The numbers (polio cases) continue. There is a feeling that we need to look at new tools," another official said.
Some paediatricians and infectious diseases experts have long been arguing for the introduction of IPV which, they believe, is more effective in protecting a child than OPV. "A combination of IPV and OPV will provide better protection," said Nitin Shah, the co-chairperson of the polio eradication committee of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics.
The earliest studies questioning the efficacy of OPV in parts of India were conducted by T. Jacob John, an infectious diseases expert in Vellore, during the 1970s. John is head of the expert group that meets next week.
The health ministry has so far consistently turned down such recommendations, saying IPV is expensive and not enough of it is produced in the world to immunise the 25 million children born in India each year.
Concerned at the persistence of polio in India, the Indian Academy of Pediatrics committee has asked doctors in the private sector to offer IPV to parents of children who can afford to pay for it..
The government approved IPV for the Indian market more than two years ago. It has since been available through the private sector, each dose costing about Rs 300, said Subhash Arya, a senior consultant paediatrician at Delhi's Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. It is given in three doses at six, 10 and 14 weeks after birth. "We're now routinely offering it to children," said Arya.
A source said the participation of top officials from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation at the round-table meeting earlier this week had raised hopes that the cost barrier to introducing IPV could be overcome.
"Adding an injectible polio vaccine to (immunisation with) the oral vaccine may be a key tactic to accelerate eradication," said Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, co-chair of the Foundation, who had attended the round-table.
Gates and health ministry officials said it was up to the expert group to decide next week the specific new tools to be added to combat polio.
In addition to IPV, other options include two different versions of OPV.
The Foundation has already committed more than $400 million to support polio eradication worldwide. A part of this funding supports the immunisation programme in India.
Replying to this email will send an e-mail to 8500+ members of Jharkhand Forum.