Polio Eradication Officer Interview Preparation Guide
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Polio Eradication Officer Frequently Asked Questions by expert members with experience in Polio Eradication Officer. These questions and answers will help you strengthen your technical skills, prepare for the new job test and quickly revise the concepts

26 Polio Eradication Officer Questions and Answers:

1 :: What are the effects of polio?

The effects of polio are:
One in every 200 persons infected with polio leads to irreversible paralysis (usually in the legs).
Among those paralysed, 5%-10% die when their breathing muscles are immobilized by the virus.

2 :: Why is so much focus placed on polio, but not on other diseases?

Polio is one of only a few diseases which can be completely eradicated, such as was the case with smallpox. By eradicating polio, children across the entire world will benefit, and no child need ever again know the pain of polio-paralysis. Most diseases, such as HIV and malaria for example, cannot be eradicated, because the tools to eradicate these are not available. Polio does not have an intermediate host (i.e. it does not affect animals, and the virus cannot live in animals, such as malaria for example in mosquitoes), a safe and effective vaccine is available to protect children from polio, it does not survive for extended periods of time in the environment, and while it is contagious, its infection period is relatively short.
Polio eradication activities are also strengthening routine health services. Thanks to polio eradication activities, an active disease surveillance network has been established in all countries, into which other diseases - including measles - are now being integrated. Polio eradication infrastructure is also used for the provision of other health services such as deworming tablets, vitamin A and bednets.

3 :: How many doses of OPV does a child need before they are protected?

OPV needs to be administered multiple times to be fully effective. The number of doses it takes to immunize a child depends entirely on the child's health and nutritional status, and how many other viruses that child has been exposed to. Until a child is fully immunized THEY ARE STILL AT RISK FROM POLIO. This just emphasizes the need for all children to be immunized during every round of national immunization days. Every missed child is a place for the polio virus to hide.

4 :: What about protection from other diseases?

Along with this special effort to eradicate polio it is important that routine immunization against polio and other diseases is well established. Every year more than 5 million children are born in Pakistan. If we miss their routine vaccination against polio, measles and rubella, tetanus, pertussis and other life-threatening diseases we shall have a large cohort of children at risk that will need to be "caught up" during special campaigns that require enormous efforts. Every parent must ensure that their child's vaccination is up to date! Take your child to the nearest health site for vaccination routine vaccination

5 :: Could polio spread to other polio-free countries?

Polio does not respect borders - any unimmunized child is at risk. For every case of paralysis there are between 200 and 1000 children infected without symptoms. So it is hard to detect polio and hard to prevent the virus from travelling. Children living in areas where immunity levels are low are particularly vulnerable. The best defence against polio importations is to eradicate the virus. Only then will all children be safe.

6 :: Is it realistic to expect an end to the transmission of the polio virus by the end of 2013 - as it is the clearly stated objective in Pakistan's National Emergency Action Plan 2013?

Polio will be eradicated from Pakistan when we can ensure access for vaccinators to every child; a secure environment where parents and vaccinators feel safe, and effective management and delivery of quality campaigns. Last year, Pakistan was on the right tract to beat the disease. The country could still be on the right track if we successfully ensure access, security and quality campaigns. This should now be our focus.

7 :: What is the Acute Flaccid Paralysis Surveillance?

The Acute Flaccid Paralysis Surveillance system is a critical part of the protection available for families against polio. If a child suddenly shows signs of a floppy, or weak arm or leg, health authorities should be informed immediately so that a sample of the child's faeces can be taken for analysis and the child can get proper treatment. It is very important to act fast - polio is VERY infectious.

8 :: Why are some industrialized countries using a different vaccine for polio than developing countries?

Every country in the world except two (Sweden and Iceland) used oral polio vaccine (OPV) to eliminate polio and continued using OPV, usually until the late 1990s, when some switched to inactivated polio vaccine due to progress towards polio eradication (when the risk of wild poliovirus was diminished). Most countries use OPV as it has a unique ability to induce intestinal, local immunity, meaning that it can actually interrupt wild poliovirus transmission in an environment. This is not possible with IPV, an inactivated polio vaccine, which induces only very low levels of immunity to poliovirus inside the gut, and as a result provides individual protection against polio, but unlike OPV, cannot prevent the spread of wild poliovirus.

9 :: What is polio?

Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious disease caused by the polio virus. It invades the nervous system, and can cause paralysis or even death in a matter of hours.

10 :: What will it take to eradicate polio?

To stop polio we need to:
☛ Engage entire societies in the effort to reach every last child
☛ Make special plans to reach children from mobile and migrant populations, in conflict zones, or in remote regions
☛ Strengthen routine immunization, which is the best national defence against polio
☛ Improve surveillance in high-risk areas
☛ Encourage governments to reach out to the poorest people with other public services
☛ Continue to receive the highest level of political commitment from national governments and multiilateral institutions
☛ Fill the funding gap - $590 million is still required to fund activities in 2011 and 2012.