Polio leaves Ukraine toddler paralyzed: official




Polio leaves Ukraine toddler paralyzed: official


October 7, 2021

KIEV, Ukraine (AFP) — An 18-month-old child has been left paralyzed after contracting polio in Ukraine in a new case linked to low vaccination rates in the country, the health ministry said Wednesday.

The ministry said vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 caused the disease as opposed to the original wild virus.

“The parents deliberately refused vaccinations because of their religious beliefs,” the statement said without providing further details of the case in the northwestern region of Rivne.

A team of epidemiologists was working in the region — where less than 49 percent of children have been vaccinated against the virus — to collect more information about the case, the ministry said.

Outbreaks of vaccine-derived poliovirus have been reported in war zones and countries with poor quality health services and remain a risk to global efforts to eradicate the virus.

In 2015, two polio cases were confirmed in southwestern Ukraine, the first to be recorded in Europe since 2010.

It took more than two years to eradicate the outbreak, the health ministry said.

The level of vaccinations against polio is “insufficient”, the health ministry said on Wednesday.

Only 53 percent of Ukrainian children under the age of one have been vaccinated against the disease in the first eight months of 2021.

Affecting mostly children under the age of five, polio can lead to irreversible paralysis.

According to the World Health Organisation, the number of polio cases worldwide has decreased by more than 99 percent since 1988.

© Agence France-Presse

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