Africa celebrates one year without polio

Updated 12 August 2015
0

Africa celebrates one year without polio

MOGADISHU: Africa has marked one year since the last case of recorded polio, with the United Nations celebrating Wednesday a key step toward eradicating the disease.
The last recorded case on the continent was in Somalia on Aug. 11, 2014, although health officials must wait two more years before declaring the continent free from the highly infectious, crippling virus.
The UN children’s agency UNICEF, which plays a key role in polio vaccinations, called it an “extraordinary achievement” but warned it was “not an end point.”
Success depends on the continuation of vaccination campaigns and close monitoring of possible cases, it said.
“We have had no new cases for a year despite all the challenges in the country,” UNICEF’s chief for Somalia Steven Lauwerier told AFP on Wednesday.
“We never want to see another Somali child being paralyzed by this preventable virus. That means we need to continue to support the vaccination campaigns to ensure polio is completely eradicated.”
Nigeria marked one year since its last recorded case of polio in July. It is one of only three countries — along with Pakistan and Afghanistan — where the virus remains endemic.
Nigerian Health Ministry spokesman Dan Nwomeh said Wednesday said the anniversary was “welcome” but stressed the “momentum should be sustained” through improved immunization campaigns.
“Globally, we are on the verge of totally eradicating a disease for only the second time in history,” UNICEF polio chief Peter Crowley said, referring to the elimination of smallpox.
The rollback of polio is “a powerful symbol of the progress that has been made on the African continent over the past generation,” Crowley said.
A polio-free Africa would leave only Pakistan and Afghanistan where the disease had not been wiped out, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), which said the one-year mark was a key signal of the “important progress toward eradication.”


Man arrested for London mosque shooting

Updated 22 min 32 sec ago
0

Man arrested for London mosque shooting

  • The suspect was charged with possession of firearms with intent to cause harm or fear
  • Police say the suspect may have had a fight earlier in a nearby street

DUBAI: A man has been arrested after he fired a gun in a London mosque, UK daily The Metro reported.

The man entered the Seven Kings Mosque in London, on Thursday, May 9, while worshippers performed Ramadan prayers and fired a gun, the report added.

He was arrested on charges of possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
There were no reports of injuries or damages to the building, ballistic evidence suggests the detainee may have used a blank-firing handgun, police said.

Police investigations said it is possible the incident started after an earlier argument in a nearby street.

A mosque attendee, Ibraheem Hussain, said he heard the gunshot almost half an hour after prayers began, adding that he was concerned for the safety of worshippers.

“(Christchurch) comes to mind, it’s crazy to think this would happen in London, especially after everything that has happened,” he told Metro.