Polio this week as of 11 June 2014
The Technical Advisory Groups (TAGs) on Polio Eradication in Afghanistan and Pakistan met in Islamabad, Pakistan, last week. The TAG recognized the important progress in Afghanistan and concluded that the country is in a strong position to interrupt endemic transmission of the virus in 2014, provided the country addresses the remaining challenges and risks. These include ensuring the programme is a priority with the new government, reaching children in inaccessible areas, focusing on missed children, strengthening cross-border and transit vaccination and preparing for the displacement of people from infected areas of Pakistan.
In terms of polio eradication in Pakistan, the TAG concluded that the country is not in a position to interrupt transmission without radical change in reservoir areas including Federally Administered Tribal Areas – FATA, Peshawar and Karachi. To put the program back on the path to polio eradication, the TAG recommended full political commitment and ownership, mobilization of national assets including the army and administrative machinery, restoration of vaccination in FATA and addressing insecurity and chronic gaps in reservoirs and high risk areas. The TAG also recommended that all provinces integrate communications and social mobilization activities in their planning and operations.