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Jakarta Post

Commentary: Eliminating diseases does not mean ‘mission accomplished’

  • Elly Burhaini Faizal

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, June 27 2019   /  12:29 am

Although Indonesia was certified polio-free on March 27, 2014, authorities are still battling to keep the disease away from the country. As it is highly contagious, polio remains a public health concern, potentially leading to permanent paralysis and even death. The poliovirus can mutate rapidly and cause more paralysis, thus remaining a threat to polio eradication. The recent discovery of three poliomyelitis cases in Yahukimo, Papua, which borders with Papua New Guinea (PNG), where a vaccine-derived polio outbreak was declared, has become a wake-up call for the government to stay vigilant against the disease.As PNG was declared polio-free almost two decades ago in 2000, obviously polio could easily return unless countries can ensure high levels of immunization coverage to avoid mutated strains of polio vaccine and prevent wild poliovirus transmission from other countries. A persistently...