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28 Apr 2016 description

This World Immunization Week, we are closer than ever to the target of a world free of polio, with just two remaining polio endemic countries- Afghanistan and Pakistan. Read more about what remains to be done to carry the world across the threshold here.

14 Apr 2016 description
  • The World Health Assembly (WHA) Report on Poliomyelitis has been published. The report summarises the status against the Polio Endgame Plan and Resolution WHA68.3, adopted by the WHA in May 2015.

  • Canada has announced a contribution of $ 40 million Canadian Dollars to support the eradication of polio in Pakistan over the next three years.

08 Apr 2016 description
  • The third Outbreak Response Assessment in Madagascar found that the surveillance system is not yet strong enough to conclude that polio transmission has been interrupted. Thirty-nine high-risk districts have been identified to receive focused attention.

06 Apr 2016 description

Afghanistan

One new cases of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) were reported in the past week, in Nawzad district of Hilmand province, with onset of paralysis on 23 January. The total number of WPV1 cases for 2016 remains 2, compared to 1 reported for 2015 at this point last year.

No new WPV1 environmental positive samples were reported in the past week. The most recent environmental positive samples were collected on 27 December 2015 - one in Jalalabad in Nangarhar province and the second in the city of Kabul.

15 Mar 2016 description
  • 8 March marked International Women’s Day - a great opportunity to thank the many thousands of women who have been instrumental in the progress of polio eradication around the world. Read more here.

03 Mar 2016 description

Polio this week as of 2 March 2016

  • The Director General of WHO, Dr Margaret Chan, upon the advice of the Emergency Committee, concluded that poliovirus continues to constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Read the statement here.

01 Mar 2016 description
  • GPEI have published six new videos on ‘Securing a Polio Free World’ covering topics including the polio vaccines, circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses and the upcoming ‘Switch’. The videos are available in both English and French.

15 Feb 2016 description
  • As we enter February 2016, GPEI bids farewell to Hamid Jafari, the former director of GPEI, whose tenure has seen the removal of Nigeria from the list of polio-endemic countries, certification of the eradication of wild poliovirus type 2, and the lowest number of cases reported in the fewest number of places in any one year. GPEI welcomes Michel Zaffran, former coordinator of the WHO Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), as its new director, as we enter a pivotal part of the Endgame Plan.

09 Feb 2016 description
  • There are ten weeks to go until the globally synchronized switch from the trivalent to bivalent oral polio vaccine, an important milestone in achieving a polio-free world. Read more here.

29 Oct 2015 description
  • 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.

15 Oct 2015 description
  • 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.

13 Oct 2015 description
  • 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.

01 Oct 2015 description
  • The week, WHO removed Nigeria from the list of polio-endemic countries following all samples in the polio laboratory being tested negative for wild poliovirus for a whole year following the most recent case on 24 July 2014. This is the first time that Nigeria has interrupted transmission of wild poliovirus, bringing the country and the African region closer than ever to being certified polio-free. More.

22 Sep 2015 description

Declaration further milestone for globally-coordinated vaccine switch in 2016

20 September, Bali – In an important step towards a polio-free world, the Global Commission for the Certification of Poliomyelitis Eradication (GCC) today concluded that wild poliovirus type 2 (WPV2) has been eradicated worldwide. The GCC reached its conclusion after reviewing formal documentation submitted by Member States, global poliovirus laboratory network and surveillance systems. The last detected WPV2 dates to 1999, from Aligarh, northern India.

18 Sep 2015 description
  • 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.
10 Sep 2015 description
  • 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.

09 Sep 2015 description

Outbreak stems from poor immunization coverage

9 September 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, from 30 August 2014. The genetic changes suggest that the cVDPV2 has been circulating for more than 12 months.

22 Jan 2015 description

Ministers of Health from around the world will convene next week at WHO’s Executive Board meeting, to set global public health policies. Among other topics, representatives are expected to review the current polio epidemiology and global preparedness plans for the phased removal of oral polio vaccines. A report has been prepared, to facilitate discussions, available here.

24 Dec 2014 description
  • The year ends with real – and fragile – progress: the longest stretch in history without wild poliovirus in Africa, large outbreaks stopped in the Middle East and the Horn of Africa, a certified polio-free South East Asia and no wild poliovirus type 3 for over 2 years. This will be the last weekly update of 2014.