In 1988, the World Health Assem­bly resolved to erad­i­cate polio world­wide by 2000. How­ev­er, only 2 of the 3 wild poliovirus (WPV) strains have been erad­i­cat­ed.

To erad­i­cate polio, every child in every house­hold must be vac­ci­nat­ed against the dis­ease. This requires a high lev­el of polit­i­cal will and com­mit­ment, as well as con­tin­ued sup­port from donors and part­ners. Pre­ven­tion of dis­eases is accom­plished by vac­ci­na­tion, and this is espe­cial­ly true for polio, which has no cure. How­ev­er, erad­i­ca­tion can only be achieved with the right approach and nec­es­sary resources. 

Polio, a high­ly infec­tious viral dis­ease that can result in paral­y­sis, dis­abil­i­ty and death, main­ly affects young chil­dren under 5 years old. Cur­rent­ly, polio is endem­ic in only 2 coun­tries: Afghanistan and Pak­istan.

The Covid-19 pan­dem­ic has changed the inter­na­tion­al envi­ron­ment with­in which humankind oper­ates, mak­ing it pos­si­ble, now more than ever, to erad­i­cate dis­eases such as polio. We saw the vig­i­lance of health author­i­ties dur­ing the Covid 19 pan­dem­ic, which helped pre­vent out­breaks. This can be repli­cat­ed for oth­er dis­eases. The adap­ta­tion of dig­i­tal solu­tions to tack­le Coro­n­avirus was also para­mount in curb­ing mis­in­for­ma­tion about the virus and the con­tro­ver­sial vac­cine. These meth­ods have equal­ly been adapt­ed for oth­er com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases such as influen­za. We are now able to track the progress of the virus in real time and deter­mine its spread, thus allow­ing us to bet­ter plan vac­ci­na­tion cam­paigns. In addi­tion, we can mon­i­tor the effec­tive­ness of these cam­paigns by com­par­ing them with each oth­er. This will allow us to deter­mine whether there is a need for addi­tion­al immu­niza­tion efforts or if we should focus on oth­er areas.  

One way to erad­i­cate polio would be by track­ing rou­tine immunization.The track­ing of rou­tine immu­niza­tion has been a major break­through in the fight against polio. In Pak­istan, this method was employed to iden­ti­fy areas where chil­dren were not receiv­ing their vac­cines. This allowed health work­ers to reach out to these com­mu­ni­ties and ensure that they were immu­nized prop­er­ly. 

At Intel­liSOFT, we offer bespoke dig­i­tal health data tools that can be adapt­ed for track­ing polio vac­cine records in real time to deter­mine its spread, thus allow­ing us to bet­ter plan vac­ci­na­tion cam­paigns. In addi­tion, we can mon­i­tor the effec­tive­ness of these cam­paigns by com­par­ing them with oth­er dig­i­tal vac­cine records.  

The sec­ond method of erad­i­cat­ing polio is by mon­i­tor­ing the spread of the virus. This method is also essen­tial in erad­i­ca­tion efforts because it allows health work­ers and sci­en­tists to iden­ti­fy areas where there are large amounts of peo­ple infect­ed with polio. By iden­ti­fy­ing these areas, they can be tar­get­ed for vac­ci­na­tion cam­paigns that will hope­ful­ly elim­i­nate the dis­ease from those regions.

IntelliSOFT’s dig­i­tal ser­vices can be used in the fight against polio to enable track­ing of chil­dren who were not present at their vac­ci­na­tion ses­sions, improv­ing the qual­i­ty of data to allow for bet­ter mon­i­tor­ing and eval­u­a­tion, and reduc­ing the cost of run­ning cam­paigns while also pro­vid­ing addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion on where the near­est vac­ci­na­tion cen­ters are locat­ed. 

Adap­ta­tion of stan­dard-based dig­i­tal solu­tions in the fight against polio can have pos­i­tive impacts such as enabling track­ing of chil­dren who were not present at their vac­ci­na­tion ses­sions, improv­ing the qual­i­ty of data to allow for bet­ter mon­i­tor­ing and eval­u­a­tion, and reduc­ing the cost of run­ning cam­paigns while also pro­vid­ing addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion on where the near­est vac­ci­na­tion cen­ters are locat­ed. 

Adopt­ing immu­niza­tion reg­istries can refine the qual­i­ty and reli­a­bil­i­ty of vac­ci­na­tion data, as well as data acces­si­bil­i­ty and use at all lev­els of the health sys­tem with­in coun­try gov­ern­ments while also reduc­ing the time spent on data analy­sis and report­ing. They can also help coun­tries to bet­ter under­stand the sta­tus of their immu­niza­tion pro­grams, includ­ing iden­ti­fy­ing gaps and bot­tle­necks in ser­vice deliv­ery, mon­i­tor­ing cov­er­age lev­els over time, and eval­u­at­ing pro­gram per­for­mance against tar­gets. They can also pro­vide a plat­form for col­lect­ing data on vac­ci­na­tion cam­paigns and oth­er forms of sup­ple­men­tary immu­niza­tion activ­i­ties that are not rou­tine­ly report­ed through rou­tine sys­tems. Immu­niza­tion reg­istries are a pow­er­ful tool that can be used to improve vac­cine deliv­ery and increase immu­niza­tion cov­er­age and aid in the erad­i­ca­tion of polio.

Categories: World Health Days

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