Pakistan: Polio Outbreak - 2014-2017Ongoing
Data for polio cases in Pakistan showed an increase by 57 per cent from 58 cases in 2012 to 91 in 2013. (OCHA, 15 Jan 2014) WHO declared Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar as the world's "largest reservoir" of polio and called for urgent action to boost vaccination. (DAWN, 2 Feb 2014)
By the end of 2014, 295 polio cases had been recorded, compared to 91 in 2013. The number of infected districts/towns had almost doubled from 22 in 2013 to 40 in 2014. (WHO, 27 Dec 2014)
In the period between July 2012 and February 2015, 80 polio workers and those protecting them have been killed whereas 54 received serious injuries. Such brazen attacks against health workers finds no precedent anywhere in the world. (Gov't of Pakistan, WHO, UNICEF, 24 Oct 2015)
The Prime Minister of Pakistan / Chairman of the National Task Force for Polio Eradication endorsed the National Emergency Action Plan for Polio Eradication in a meeting held on 11 June 2015.
Pakistan's polio cases are declining, with just 54 cases of wild polio virus reported in 2015, down more than 80 percent from 2014, when the country experienced a large spike in cases.(Gov't of Pakistan, 1 Mar 2016)
As of 29 June 2016, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) had confirmed 12 cases of polio in Pakistan in 2016, with the most recent case located in KPk’s Dera Ismail Khan District. During the same week in 2015, the GPEI had confirmed 25 polio cases. The GPEI also reported that no environmental samples have tested positive for polio since May 12 when a team collected a positive sample in Punjab’s Dera Ghazi Khan District. (USAID, 30 Jun 2016)
One new case of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) was reported in early October, from Sujawal, Sindh (south-east of Karachi), with onset of paralysis on 3 September. It is the most recent case in the country, and brings the total number of WPV1 cases for 2016 to 15. (GPEI, 12 Oct 2016)
In November 2016, a new case of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) was reported with onset of paralysis on 3 September, from Kohistan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), in the north of the country. It brought the total number of WPV1 cases for 2016 to 16. As well, three new WPV1 positive environmental samples were reported from Balochistan (two from Quetta and one from Killa Abdullah, collected on 20 September, 14 October and 15 October). (GPEI, 09 Nov 2016)
An additional new case of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) was reported in Sujawal district in central Sindh, with onset of paralysis on 3 November. It brought the total number of WPV1 cases for 2016 to 17. (GPEI, 23 Nov 2016)
The majority of the polio cases during the last six months were reported from non-reservoir areas, i.e. from ‘tier 2, 3 and 4’ districts (districts which are considered to be more vulnerable to polio re-infection or spread). There have been no paralytic cases of wild poliovirus from the traditional polio reservoirs in Pakistan since February 2016. (Gov't of Pakistan, 18 Dec 2016)
As of 21 December, 19 WPV1 cases were reported in 2016. It is the lowest number of annual cases ever reported, from the fewest number of affected areas in the country. WHO assesses the risk of international spread of WPV1 within the common reservoir between Pakistan and Afghanistan to be high (due to the historical spread of such strains across the joint epidemiological block with Afghanistan). (WHO, 27 Dec 2016)
One new wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) case was reported in Killa Abdullah, Balochistan, with onset of paralysis on 22 December 2016. This brought the total number of WPV1 cases for 2016 to 20. (GPEI, 17 Jan 2017)
Pakistan continues to implement the National Emergency Action Plan for polio eradication. The focus is to continue to build immunity against both type 1 and 2 poliovirus, and to address ongoing circulation of both the WPV1 and the circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) strains. (GPEI, 01 Feb 2017)
As of 7 June 2017, there were two WPV1 cases for 2017. There were 20 cases in 2016. The most recent case had onset of paralysis on 13 February, from Diamir district, Gilgit Baltistan. The year 2016 saw the lowest ever annual number of polio cases in the country but poliovirus continues to be isolated through environmental surveillance over a significant geographical range. Efforts are ongoing through implementation of the national emergency action plan to address remaining gaps in coverage and surveillance, in close coordination with neighbouring Afghanistan. (GPEI, 07 June 2017)
Pakistan’s Polio Eradication Programme launched the offensive campaign against the virus. The intense preparations were underway for a special targeted campaign in vulnerable pockets of 73 districts / towns / agencies across the country. The program targeted a total of 10.44 million children under the age of five. (Gov't of Pakistan, 4 July 2017)
One new wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) case was reported, bringing the total number of WPV1 cases for 2017 to three. It was the most recent case in the country, and had onset of paralysis on 11 June, from Killa Abdullah, Balochistan. Meanwhile, the Pakistan and Afghanistan National Emergency Operation Centre teams put together a joint response plan for new wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) cases / isolates in the southern corridor (comprising Quetta Block / Greater Kandahar). (GPEI, 12 July 2017)
The first report of the Transition Independent Monitoring Board (TIMB) has now been published, following the group’s first meeting last month. The TIMB has been established at the request of the Polio Oversight Board (POB) to independently monitor and guide the polio transition process, especially in the 16 countries prioritized for transition planning. The group’s next meeting will be held in London,
United Kingdom, on 2-3 November. More.
Implementation of Event Based Surveillance in Jordan
Jordan is conducting a training workshop for the launch of event based surveillance (EBS) for acute respiratory infections. The workshop to be conducted in Amman, Jordan, from 24 to 27 July 2017 will target public health officers responsible for surveillance and response at governorate level and health professionals from all secondary and tertiary level hospitals in the country.
June 2017 marks the end of the 2016/2017 low season for poliovirus transmission. From September 2016 to May 2017 the Pakistan Polio Eradication Initiative conducted nine high-quality supplementary immunization activities (SIAs), achieving a steady increase in the population immunity against wild poliovirus. Across Pakistan, the proportion of vaccinated children increased from 85% in August 2016 to 92% in May 2017, according to in-dependent post-campaign monitoring.
By Muhammad Akbar Notezai
QUETTA: A five-day anti-polio campaign began in Quetta, Pishin, Qila Abdullah and Mastung districts of Balochistan amid tight security on Monday.
Health workers and other staff members will cover 127 union councils of the four districts during the campaign.
“Nearly 800,000 children will be administered polio drops,” said Syed Faisal Ahmed, chief coordinator of the provincial emergency operation centre.
Polio this week as of 19 July 2017
With five national campaigns since October 2016, Pakistan is well positioned to face the challenges ahead.
At the end of May 2017, more than 38 million children under the age of 5 were vaccinated against polio in Pakistan. During the campaign, over 250,000 trained polio workers went from house to house across the length and breadth of the country to vaccinate children against the crippling disease.
Farooq has said that Polio is a zero sum game and until we achieve zero, we cannot relax in our war against polio.
Addressing the concluding ceremony of four-day 10th annual review and training meeting of Field Epidemiology Laboratory Training Program (FELTP) officers she congratulated the program officials for successfully completing six years of dedicated work in Pakistan. NSTOP officers are adding critical value to Pakistan program by providing technical support at district level, she added.
Polio this week as of 12 July 2017
At the G20 Head of State Summit in Hamburg, Germany, last weekend, leaders acknowledged the efforts to eradicate and committed to completing the job of polio eradication. More.
Journal of Infectious Diseases publishes supplement of articles on polio endgame and legacy implementation lessons learned and best practices. More.
Health advisories for travelers to Saudi Arabia, Hajj, 1438 H
Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, is one of the largest and most longstanding annual mass gathering event in the world. Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health has issued Health conditions for travelers to Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj) – health requirements and recommendations in connection with performing hajj in 2017 (1438 H)
Pakistani authorities on July 10 launched a three-day anti-polio drive in parts of the restive tribal areas where the drive was hampered by insecurity in the past.
In Jamrud of Khyber tribal district, polio teams were going from door to door under tight security from the paramilitary personnel administering drops to children below five years.
Health officials said around 350,000 children will be vaccinated during the three-day campaign.
Weekly country updates as of 4 July 2017
No new wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) cases were reported in the past week. The total number of WPV1 cases for 2017 remains four. The most recent WPV1 case had onset of paralysis on 16 April from Nawzad district, Hilmand province.
An 18-month-old child has been diagnosed with polio in Chaman, Balochistan, health department sources said on Wednesday.
The polio virus was found in Ahmed Shah, a resident of Mehmoodabad, in the area of Chaman. The child reportedly had not received polio drops because of his parent's refusal.
Islamabad, 4 July 2017 - To capitalize on the best ever polio epidemiology, Pakistan’s Polio Eradication Programme is sharpening its tools to launch the final offensive against the crippling virus, said Muhammad Ayub Sheikh, Secretary, Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination.
Countrywide Conflict Displacement
This year, more than 141,700 people have fled their homes across the country due to conflict. This is a 22 per cent decline compared to the same period in the previous year, in which 182,600 people were displaced.
In May 2017, more than 38 million children under the age of 5 were vaccinated against polio during the National Immunization Day (NIDs). The May campaign was the last campaign of the current low transmission season.
70 YEARS AND COUNTING
Seven decades ago, the world was recovering from a devastating world war. For millions of child survivors of that war, peace still encompassed a landscape of significant challenges and damaged futures. UNICEF was created to help those children – no matter who they were, no matter where they were from. The only thing that mattered for the nascent organization was achieving results for children in need.
Countrywide Conflict Displacement
In Syria, 15 new cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) were reported in the past week, bringing the total number of cVDPV2 cases in the country to 17. Sixteen of the 17 cases are from Mayadeen district, Deir-Al-Zour governorate, and one case is from Raqua district, Raqua governorate. All cases had onset of paralysis between 3 March and 23 May.
The 14th report of the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) has been published, following the group’s meeting in May.
Important lessons on stopping the poliovirus in the most challenging locations are moving the polio eradication programme closer to the finishing line.
In recent years, the global drive to eradicate polio has seen the virus cornered in fewer places than ever before. Yet polio’s final strongholds are some of the most complicated places in the world to deliver vaccination campaigns. Insecurity and conflict are some of the challenges to delivering vaccines, as well as populations on the move, testing terrain and weather, and weak health systems.