C’bean working to keep region free of polio
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Authorities in the Dominican Republic say the death toll from an explosion at a plastics company has risen to four.
A statement from the National Health Service also says that the number of injured has risen to 66, with five people in critical condition following Wednesday’s blast in the capital of Santo Domingo.
The sub-director of the Emergency Operations Center told The Associated Press yesterday that two people are still missing. Edwin Olivares also said that officials have not been able to identify two of the four victims.
He said many workers survived the large explosion at the Polyplas company because they followed security protocols.
Business owner Manuel Diez Cabral tweeted that 98 per cent of staff members were evacuated following what he said was an “uncontrollable” gas leak. GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala (CMC) — The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) says Caribbean countries are seeking to consolidate measures to maintain elimination and avoid reintroduction of poliomyelitis, or polio as it is commonly called.
PAHO said that the region of the Americas registered its last case of polio in 1991, and, in 1994, was the first in the world to receive certification from the World Health Organization (WHO) as free of the disease.
“As long as there is even one infected child, children in all countries are at risk of contracting polio,” said Cuauhtémoc Ruizmatus, PAHO’S chief of the Comprehensive Family Immunization Unit, during the inauguration here of the sixth Regional Meeting on Polio: “On the way to global certification”, which took place yesterday.
PAHO said poliomyelitis is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus that invades the nervous system and can cause paralysis in a matter of hours.
It said while it has no cure, it can be prevented through vaccination. Children under the age of five are the most affected.
PAHO said cases of poliomyelitis have decreased by more than 99 per cent globally, from an estimated 350,000 in 1988 in more than 125 endemic countries, to 27 reported so far in 2018.
However, PAHO said it is estimated that, if the goal of global eradication is not reached, there would be a resurgence around the world within 10 years that could generate 200,000 new cases per year.
Rosamund Lewis, team leader of the Strategic Planning and Analysis, Polio Operations and Research Unit at WHO, said that “the world must thank the region of the Americas for its patience, for being the first to eliminate polio and for continuing to wait for the rest of the world”.
Lewis said that there are challenges to reaching every child with vaccination and achieving global certification for elimination.
black plume of smoke A rises after an explosion at the Polyplas plant in the Villas Agricolas neighbourhood inSanto Domingo, on Dominican Republic, Wednesday.