Polio staff in Nigeria have contributed emergency response expertise in Sokoto State
In early May 2017, polio programme staff from across Nigeria joined efforts to combat a meningitis outbreak in Sokoto, providing support and expertise in outbreak response to help Sokoto State in controlling the outbreak.
Almost 200 WHO polio officers worked with state and national government agencies and other partners to plan and implement a state-wide vaccination campaign aimed at reaching almost 800 000 young people at risk of contracting the disease.
The World Health Assembly (WHA) is meeting next week in Geneva, Switzerland. Ministers of Health and public health professionals from around the world will convene to discuss global public health issues, including the global drive to eradicate polio. Delegates are anticipated to review current status against each of the four objectives of the Polio Endgame Plan, including reviewing a report requested by the Executive Board (EB) in January 2017 on issues related to transition planning.
The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on immunization (SAGE) convened last week in Geneva. On polio eradication, the group noted the progress achieved in the remaining endemic countries. Recognizing an ongoing global supply constraint of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV), the group urged countries to adopt a fractional-dose approach (1/5th of a full dose), noting that several countries which had implemented this approach are able to meet their national vaccine requirements for its populations, and to prioritize supply to routine immunization rather than to outbreak response.
As the world edges closer to becoming polio-free, keeping up the guard in countries at high risk of polio importation is more of a priority than ever. With polio continuing to circulate in the three remaining polio-endemic countries – Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria ‒ any country is at risk of the virus returning.
Vulnerable to the Virus