In 2015, wild poliovirus transmission is at the lowest levels ever, with fewer cases reported from fewer areas of fewer countries than ever before. In 2015, 56 wild poliovirus cases have been reported from two countries (Pakistan and Afghanistan), compared to 290 cases from nine countries during the same period in 2014.
In the past decade, chronic food insecurity and malnutrition, cyclical drought, locust infestations, seasonal floods, disease outbreaks, and recurrent complex emergencies have presented major challenges to vulnerable populations in the West Africa region.
Three years since no wild poliovirus type 3: the 10th of November is an opportunity to mark three years with no child paralysed by wild poliovirus type 3 (WPV3); a reminder of the role of surveillance in ensuring the world is polio free, and of innovations in driving the programme forward. For more, please click here.
Significant progress has been made to fight the outbreaks of wild poliovirus type 1 that occurred in the Middle East and Somalia in 2013. The outbreak in Somalia was officially declared over after an outbreak assessment team conducted an in depth review in October.
On 20 October, the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on immunization (SAGE) confirmed that the globally coordinated withdrawal of the type 2 component in oral polio vaccine (OPV) should occur in April 2016, specifically in a window from 17 April to 1 May. Countries should intensify their preparatory efforts to switch from trivalent OPV to bivalent OPV to meet this timeline.
In Lao Democratic People’s Republic a circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1 (cVDPV1) outbreak has been confirmed, with one case, an eight year old boy who had onset of paralysis on 7 September. Outbreaks of cVDPVs can arise in areas of low population immunity, emphasizing the importance of strong vaccination coverage. Learn more about VDPVs.
Afghanistan became the final polio-endemic country to introduce the inactivated polio vaccine on 30 September as part of the biggest globally synchronized vaccine introduction in history.
This week, the Independent Monitoring Board is meeting in London to assess progress towards polio eradication and to make recommendations for the coming months. The report is expected to be published in the next few weeks.
Saturday 10/10/2015 - 09:43 GMT | 84 words
The Spanish Civil Guard said Saturday it had rescued 523 African migrants off the coast of Libya with the help of the Italian coastguard.
A Spanish patrol ship rescued 325 migrants from different boats about 25 nautical miles from Tripoli, while the Italian coastguard taking part in the same operation picked up another 198, a statement said.
The statement said the migrants were from Nigeria, Gambia, Senegal, Libya, Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau and Equatorial Guinea and that they included 125 women and 22 children.
Out of school and into marriage: 39,000 girls forced to marry every day
Girls in 26 countries are more likely to be forced into marriage than to enroll in secondary school, research from CARE has found.
The report, Vows of Poverty, has been released to mark the International Day of the Girl on 11 October and provides a snapshot of the forces that drive girls into marriage and out of school.
The report found:
UNODC launches strategy against human trafficking and migrant smuggling in West and Central Africa
7 September, 2015 - UNODC recently launched its Regional Strategy for Combating Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants in West and Central Africa. With these two regions considered points of origin, transit and destination for victims of human trafficking and smuggling of migrants, the new Regional Strategy aims to assist the affected countries in dismantling the criminal networks while at the same time protecting the victims of these crimes.
- Pakistan launched a nationwide polio campaign this week to vaccinate more than 35 million children in 163 districts of the country. Approximately 200,000 polio workers are participating in the polio campaign, during which Vitamin A will also be distributed.
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) leadership agreed at the time of the 2013–2018 Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan (PEESP) development that the programme would regularly assess progress, reflect on the lessons learned, plan for the risks ahead, and make needed adjustments to the activities and costs of the plan going forward. This midterm review (MTR) was conducted by a team from the GPEI partners under the guidance of the Strategy Committee (SC) from March-May 2015.
A case of vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (VDPV2) has been reported with onset of paralysis on 20 July 2015 in Bamako city, Mali. The virus was isolated from a 19-month old boy of Guinean nationality. The closest genetic match to this case is from a case from Kankan, Guinea, with onset of paralysis on 30 August 2014. The genetic changes suggest that the cVDPV2 has been circulating for more than 12 months. Discussions are currently ongoing with national health authorities to plan and implement an urgent outbreak response.
In Ukraine, a circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1 (cVDPV1) outbreak has been confirmed. Two cases have been confirmed, with dates of onset of paralysis of 30 June and 7 July. The genetic similarity between the cases indicates active transmission of cVDPV1. Both are from the Zakarpatskaya oblast, in south-western Ukraine, bordering Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland. Ukraine had been at particular risk of emergence of a cVDPV, due to inadequate vaccination coverage. In 2014, only 50% of children were fully immunized against polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases.
Cameroon's capital hosts two meetings that started on 24 August and which bring together about 40 participants, including Heads of Veterinary Services, Directors of laboratories and officials of epidemiological surveillance services from Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Sao Tome and Principe.
The Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) has a long way to go in preventing regional crises. Many challenges remain in making the infrastructure (especially the Central African Early Warning Mechanism and the Central African Multinational Force) operational and effective, and there is a gap between ambition and reality.
This week, Pakistan will become the second polio-endemic country to introduce the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) into its routine immunization system. More than half the global birth cohort is now receiving at least one dose of IPV through routine immunization systems as a result of the biggest globally synchronized vaccine introduction in history. Read more on the status of IPV introductions here.
Malabo, Equatorial Guinea | AFP | Wednesday 8/19/2015 - 19:56 GMT
A drought and a surge in demand for electricity have left the residents of Equatorial Guinea's economic capital of Bata virtually without power for two weeks, authorities and residents said Wednesday.
The government has urged Bata's hundreds of thousands of residents to be "patient".