GLIDE: Vaccination Incentives and Next Generation Sequencing – Two Pakistani Doctors Employ Innovative Techniques to Eradicate Polio – Yahoo Finance

GLIDE: Vaccination Incentives and Next Generation Sequencing – Two Pakistani Doctors Employ Innovative Techniques to Eradicate Polio – Yahoo Finance

● Dr Jai Das and Dr Muhammad Salman selected to receive a Falcon Award for Disease Elimination

● They will each receive up to USD200,000 and technical support from GLIDE to implement projects that will accelerate the elimination of polio in Pakistan and Afghanistan

● The remaining three winners selected are from Ghana, Philippines and Yemen

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, December 13, 2021–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dr Jai Das and Dr Muhammad Salman working towards the elimination of polio in Pakistan and Afghanistan, have won a Falcon Award for Disease Elimination. The five winners were announced yesterday by the Global Institute for Disease Elimination (GLIDE) during a Universal Health Coverage Day event at EXPO 2020 Dubai.

Dr Jai Das’ project, ‘The Last Mile,’ will be rolled out in Karachi and Pishin, two of 40 Super High-Risk Union Councils identified by the government as hotbeds of vaccine refusals and poliovirus circulation.

His strategy has recently been tested in the rural district of Sindh, where results showed that conditional community-based incentives led to a greater increase in the fully immunised child coverage against polio from 20 per cent to 60 per cent in two years.

Pending further successes, there are plans to scale-up Dr Das’ approach in all 40 high-risk areas in Pakistan. It is possible his methods could also be used to control other infectious diseases in the region, including COVID-19.

Commenting on his selection, Dr Das, Assistant Professor for the Division of Women and Child Health and Section Head, Public Health and Epidemiology at Aga Khan University, said: “We all know that the world is very close to achieving polio eradication; only a few areas in Afghanistan and Pakistan are still fighting to eliminate it. With GLIDE’s support, my project will focus on improving polio vaccination coverage in these high-risk areas which will hopefully contribute to eradicating this disease from the world.”

Dr Muhammad Salman, a second Pakistani doctor also a winner of a Falcon Award, will introduce innovative and rapid molecular detection technology and genomic surveillance of poliovirus in Pakistan and Afghanistan, for the first time.

The deep sequencing will enable the detection of low levels of polio present in sewage systems during the eradication phase of polio, which is usually when wild poliovirus strains will be circulating silently or causing inapparent infections in well-immunised communities. The technology will also reduce the timeline of poliovirus testing to reporting from 21 to seven days.

Dr Salman currently serves as the Chief of the Public Health Laboratories Division at the National Institute of Health (NIH), Pakistan. As Director of Pakistan’s National Influenza Centre, he supervised the establishment of the first ever COVID-19 Lab at NIH, which was operational on 1st February 2020.

Dr Salman added: “I am delighted to have been selected as a winner of The Falcon Awards. During 2021, two cases of polio were reported in Pakistan and Afghanistan – the lowest numbers yet. This new partnership with GLIDE will allow us to investigate the high-end resolution of poliovirus transmission using next generation sequencing and locating any remaining reservoirs to help close the immunisation gap to …….


Stop drinking