Recently, Malaysia has reported the first polio case after more than 25 years of eradication. The sudden emergence of the disease has sparked fears in officials as well as the public. As per officials, the polio outbreak in the Philippines might be the origin of the current epidemic. The latest reports have revealed that the virus, found in an infant in Sabah, has ties with the one discovered in the Philippines. Thus, to carb the upcoming devastating situation, the Malaysian government has decided to vaccinate people coming from other countries. The move could assist the government in avoiding the transmission of contagious diseases. Apart from this, Malaysia’s health ministry will look for support from UNICEF to gain a sponsored supply of vaccines. Even more, they aim to function with the Philippines to obtain the most cost-effective treatments.
Reportedly, around 20-30% of foreigners, notably in Sabah’s Borneo island and Sarawak, get into the country without tests. As a result, it increases concerns regarding their immunization status. Besides this, the government has mandated vaccination in Sabah, particularly for all children below five years of age. Notably, the process of immunization will take place in stages to stop the virus from spreading. Noor Hisham Abdullah, Ministry of Health’s Director-General, said they are preparing a systematic approach. The government also aims to offer supplementary immunization as soon as possible.
On the other hand, medical workers have explored the residential area of the baby first diagnosed with polio. Thus while seeking for AFP (Acute Flaccid Paralysis), they have seen some symptoms similar to poliomyelitis. Until now, they have tested more than 1,550 people, and no adverse cases have been found. Dr. Noor also noted that transmittable diseases like polio do not have boundaries, and the best way to avoid them is immunization. Officials are recommending parents to ensure vaccination of their children and visit the nearest health clinics if they have missed it. The Ministry of Health (MOH) also intends to implement the vaccine offering through particular NGO or non-government organizations.