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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.

04 Dec 2014 description
  • In the north of Madagascar, supplementary immunization activities are planned for December in response to the outbreak of circulating vaccine derived poliovirus. National Immunization Days are planned for January. The aim is to boost immunity across the country against all strains of poliovirus using trivalent oral polio vaccine.

  • For the first time ever, only 1 case of wild poliovirus has been reported in Africa in the last 4 months. The case had onset of paralysis on 11 August in Somalia.

26 Nov 2014 description
  • In response to the outbreak of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) in South Sudan, over 19,000 children were vaccinated last week in Bentiu Poc, where the two cases were reported. Outbreak response plans are in place to hold three rounds of supplementary immunization activities (SIAs) in high risk areas to stop transmission of the virus.

20 Nov 2014 description
  • On 13 November, the Director-General of WHO accepted the recommendation of an International Health Regulations (IHR) Emergency Committee of Experts on polio that the international spread of polio continues to constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) under the IHR, and extended the existing Temporary Recommendations to prevent the international spread of polio for countries affected by the disease for another 3 months.

15 Nov 2014 description

The third meeting of the Emergency Committee under the IHR (2005) regarding the international spread of wild poliovirus in 2014 was convened by the Director-General through electronic correspondence from 2 through 7 November 2014.1 The following IHR States Parties submitted an update on the implementation of the Temporary Recommendations since the Committee last met on 31 July 2014: Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Pakistan and the Syrian Arab Republic.

13 Nov 2014 description
  • In Madagascar, a circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1 (cVDPV1) has been confirmed. The virus was isolated from one case of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) with onset of paralysis on 29 September, and from three healthy contacts. An estimated more than 25% of children remain under-immunized against polio in the country. Madagascar was previously affected by a cVDPV2 outbreak in 2001/2002 (resulting in five cases) and in 2005 (resulting in three cases). Emergency outbreak response is being finalized, with campaigns to be held in December and January.

11 Nov 2014 description

Two new cases of circulating vaccine derived polio virus (cVDPV) have been reported in South Sudan, constituting an outbreak. Immunization activities are planned in November and December in order to stop the spread of cVDPV.

Immunization campaigns in Iraq in September reached 88% of children under 5. Around 20 million children were vaccinated across the Middle East in October. These activities are helping to protect the gains made against the virus in the region, with no case reported for nearly 7 months.

28 Oct 2014 description

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s 2013-18 Strategic Plan set a clear first objective: to stop wild polio virus transmission globally by the end of 2014. To deliver this formidable goal, the polio-infected countries and their partners made huge financial and operational pledges to complete the job they had started 25 years previously.

With just weeks to go until the end of 2014, this global target will not be achieved. The virus continues to thrive in two parts of the world that it has never been dislodged from.

10 Oct 2014 description
  • More than 6 months has passed since a case of wild poliovirus was reported in Syria or Iraq. This is testimony to the dedication of local health workers and the significant efforts of many partners to reach all children with supplementary immunization activities. Over 22 million children have been vaccinated against polio multiple times in the past year, in the midst of active conflict and a humanitarian crisis.

08 Oct 2014 description

All cases of wild poliovirus type 1 reported this week were from Pakistan. In 2014, Pakistan has accounted for 83% of cases reported globally. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) constitute the most heavily infected area of the world, with 73% of cases worldwide occurring within these provinces.

The risk of international spread of polio from Pakistan remains high. The bulk of cases in neighbouring Afghanistan are linked to cross-border transmission with Pakistan, and the outbreak affecting the Middle East originated in Pakistan.

30 Sep 2014 description

Iraq:Up to 13% of IDPs are located in areas that are currently not considered accessible by humanitarian actors. The overall number and geographical spread of IDPs pose a major challenge for provision of assistance. Approximately 1.5 million individuals are in need of emergency food assistance. An estimated 580,000 people are in urgent need of emergency shelter assistance.

16 Sep 2014 description

Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea: Transmission remains high, and case numbers doubled between the last week of August and the first of September in Liberia; in Sierra Leone 150 cases were reported for each of the last two weeks. Fewer cases have been reported in Guinea – 49 between 5 and 7 September – but the case fatality rate has been extremely high, at 65%.

04 Sep 2014 description
  • Protecting west Africa: Even as polio programme staff across west Africa support efforts to control the Ebola outbreak affecting the region, preparations are going ahead for large scale multi-country vaccination campaigns in those countries not affected by Ebola, in mid-September.

  • In Nigeria, inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) has been used in early August during supplementary immunization activities in Borno and Yobe, reaching 0.6 million children. Further campaigns will integrate IPV, aiming to reach more than a million children by April 2015.

29 Aug 2014 description

Contents
- 377 Assessing and mitigating the risks of outbreaks due to wild poliovirus in polio-free African countries, 2013-2014
- 387 Monthly report on dracunculiasis cases, January- July 2014

Sommaire
- 377 Evaluation et atténuation du risque de flambée due à un poliovirus sauvage dans les pays africains exempts de poliomyélite, 2013-2014
- 387 Rapport mensuel des cas de dracunculose, janvier-juillet 2014

28 Aug 2014 description
  • Continued transmission in Kano: wild poliovirus 1 transmission continues in a geographically limited area of southern Kano state, Nigeria, indicating pockets where vaccination campaigns and social mobilization are still too weak to assure sufficient coverage during campaigns. Kano is the only state in Nigeria reporting cases of wild poliovirus since April.

21 Aug 2014 description
  • The Horn of Africa Technical Advisory Group (TAG) met last week to review the current epidemiological situation, the impact of outbreak response and to determine additional strategies needed to rapidly interrupt residual transmission in the region. Plans were developed to increase access to mobile populations, to improve community surveillance and to strengthen campaign quality. Read more in the Horn of Africa section below.

14 Aug 2014 description
  • The Horn of Africa Technical Advisory Group (TAG) is meeting this week to review the current epidemiological situation and the impact of the outbreak response and to determine additional strategies needed to close the outbreak. See ‘Horn of Africa’ section below, for more.

  • In West Africa, polio staff are supporting efforts to curb the Ebola outbreak affecting the region. Staff are actively engaged in helping preparedness planning, social mobilization, surveillance of suspected cases, contact tracing and assisting with outbreak logistics.

31 Jul 2014 description
  • In Pakistan, three new cases have been reported, including one from Balochistan. It is the first case in this province since October 2012. However, four positive environmental samples were collected in 2014 from Quetta, Balochistan, the most recent of which on 20 June. This case is linked to these positive environmental samples, suggesting local circulation of WPV1 this year in this area.