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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has initiated a COVID-19 Surveillance Project in India in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The data gathered through full-scale surveillance will be used to make future Indian strategies for containment in India. Coincidentally, WHO’s National Public Health Surveillance Project is launched on the very same day American President Donald Trump announced an end to the funding of WHO, with regards to the never-ending list of blunders being committed by WHO repeatedly.
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The Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and World Health Organization today (15 April 2020) initiated a systematic engagement of WHO’s national polio surveillance network, and other field staff, for COVID19 response, according to a press release by the WHO. India’s WHO National Surveillance Project, has been renamed as National Public Health Surveillance Project.
Watch Deferred Live !! Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Health Minister, interacts with @WHO field officers for #COVID19 containment strategy. Meeting via Video Conference from Nirman Bhawan, New Delhi https://t.co/zId9YTHWOB
— DrHarshVardhanOffice (@DrHVoffice) April 15, 2020
“Time and again the Government of India and WHO together have shown our ability, competence and prowess to the whole world. With our combined meticulous work, done with full sincerity and dedication, we were able to get rid of polio. Today I would like to remind you of your potential and ability, and the big things we can do together. All of you in the field – IDSP, state rapid response teams and WHO – are our ‘surveillance corona warriors’. With your joint efforts we can defeat the coronavirus and save lives,” said Dr Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
My thanks to Minister @drharshvardhan for his leadership and collaboration with @WHO. Through these joint efforts we can defeat the #coronavirus and save lives. Together! #COVID19 https://t.co/G7ttUz5QkH
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) April 15, 2020
Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia complimented Dr Harsh Vardhan for introducing several of the key polio elimination initiatives as health minister of Delhi in 1994. Many of his initiatives were scaled up across the country and also adopted by other countries. Dr Harsh Vardhan was awarded Director-General’s Polio Eradication Champion Award Commendation Medal by the World Health Organization in 1998.
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With $450 million of funding to eradicate Polio, Bill Gates took control of India’s National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) which mandated up to 50 doses (Table 1) of polio vaccines through overlapping immunization programs to children before the age of five. Indian doctors blame the Gates campaign for a devastating non-polio acute flaccid paralysis (NPAFP) epidemic that paralyzed 490,000 children beyond expected rates between 2000 and 2017.
In 2017, the Indian government dialed back Gates’ vaccine regimen and asked Gates and his vaccine policies to leave India. NPAFP rates dropped precipitously. In 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) reluctantly admitted that the global explosion in polio is predominantly vaccine strain. The most frightening epidemics in Congo, Afghanistan, and the Philippines, are all linked to vaccines. In fact, by 2018, 70% of global polio cases were vaccine strain.
Further, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia said, “In the fight against the COVID-19, we have entered a stage where surveillance is going to play a vital role in making future strategies for containment.”
The strengths of the NPSP team – surveillance, data management, monitoring and supervision, and responding to local situations and challenges – will be utilized to supplement efforts of NCDC, IDSP and ICMR to strengthen Covid-19 surveillance.
The move comes at a time when WHO is being criticized for either acting too late or too little during a health crisis. There have been instances where WHO was caught grossly unprepared with its course of action. Other times, the scientists and researchers at WHO have made laughable errors while preparing reports.
Infact, a situation report released by the WHO wrongfully placed India at a stage of community transmission. Only when asked to clarify, the WHO was forced to admit its blunder saying that India has a cluster of cases and not community transmission.
The consistent pattern of blunders being committed by WHO raises serious questions on its efficiency in dealing with the lives of people. The amount of errors on a regular basis suggest WHO’s gambling-approach to world health-crisis. Past experiences shedding light on WHO being used as tool of the vaccine lobby have led many experts to call for dismantling of the WHO.
For latest updates on the outbreak check out our Coronavirus Coverage.
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