Syria/Iraq: Polio Outbreak - Oct 2013
On 28 Oct 2013, the Minister of Health of the Syrian Arab Republic announced that, after a 15-year absence, polio had returned to the Middle East. Thirteen cases were confirmed from Syria's Deir Al Zour province. The occurrence of an outbreak reflects declining immunization rates due to the severe interruption of public health services and to the conditions in which the people are living. A comprehensive outbreak response will need to be implemented across the region, with seven countries and territories to conduct mass polio vaccination campaigns targeting more than 22 million children aged under 5 years. (Strategic Plan for Polio Outbreak Response in the Middle East)
As of 8 Feb 2014, 17 confirmed polio cases had been reported from Syria's Deir ez-Zour Governorate, three from Aleppo Governorate, one from Al. Hasakeh Governorate and two from Idleb Governorate (WHO/UNICEF, 8 Feb 2014).
By 20 Mar, a total of 37 cases had been reported: 25 cases by the Syrian Arab Republic Ministry of Health, and 12 cases from contested areas (Aleppo, Edleb and Deir Al Zour) not yet reflected in official figures. The most recent case had onset of paralysis on 17 Dec 2013. Further evidence of regional spread was confirmed by notification of a case from Iraq, the first polio case in the country since 2000. The case, a six-month old boy from Baghdad who had not been immunized, developed paralysis on 10 Feb 2014. Genetic sequencing indicates the virus is most closely related to virus detected in the Syrian Arab Republic. (WHO, 21 Mar 2014)
By 8 Oct, three cases had been reported in the Middle East with onset of paralysis in 2014 - two in Iraq and one in Syria. The most recent case reported from Iraq occurred in Mada'in district, Baghdad-Resafa province, with onset of paralysis on 7 Apr. Syria’s most recent case had onset of paralysis on 21 Jan. The fact that six months had passed with no new cases being reported indicates that transmission of the virus has been interrupted. (Global Polio Eradication Initiative, 8 Oct 2014)
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The overall health and humanitarian situation in Syria has severely deteriorated as the prolonged conflict continues to affect every aspect of life across the country. The entire population has been affected politically, economically and socially, and the widespread damage to the national health system, water supply and sanitation infrastructures has compounded the suffering and despair.
As Syria crisis enters fifth year, more support urged for young adolescents
New York/Amman, 12 March 2015. Some 14 million children across the region are now suffering from the escalating conflict sweeping Syria and much of Iraq, said UNICEF today.
The continuous rapid influx of internally displaced persons (IDPs) continues to overwhelm the existing health services. Between November 2014 and January 2015, an additional 400,000 new IDPs have been reportedly displaced. This has further worsened the shortage of life-saving medicines.
Over 1.6 million people (40% of the health sector targeted) have benefited from medical consultations in and outside the IDP camps.
27 February 2015
The fourth meeting of the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005) regarding the international spread of wild poliovirus in 2014 - 15 was convened via teleconference by the Director-General on 17 February 2015. The following IHR States Parties submitted an update on the implementation of the Temporary Recommendations since the Committee last met on 13 November 2014: Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Pakistan and the Syrian Arab Republic.
(Erbil, 4 March 2015): Humanitarian partners are delivering life-saving assistance to thousands of families in Samarra District following clashes in Salah al-Din Governorate.
The assistance includes three convoys of water and sanitation supplies dispatched by UNICEF including one sent yesterday for 24,000 people. The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, is sending a convoy today from Baghdad of non-food items for 500 families.
Baghdad, 3 March 2015– a national polio vaccination campaign commenced in Iraq on 22 February 2015 aiming to reach 5.9 million children under five years old regardless of their previous vaccination status. In the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), children aged 9 months to 5 years shall be given measles vaccine along with oral polio vaccine.
In January 2015, almost 100,000 Primary Heath Care (PHC) consultations were provided as well as over 5,105 hospital admissions for lifesaving emergencies and obstetric care.
During week 9, seventeen (17) reporting sites including eight Refugee and eight Internally Displaced People’s (IDP) camps and one mobile clinic working in Sumel Duhok, submitted timely weekly reports during this reporting period.
A suspected meningitis case has been reported from Marstshmoony settlement run by CHURCHNGO.
The alert was investigated and responded and was found negative.
During week 8, nineteen (19) reporting sites including eight Refugee, nine Internally Displaced People’s (IDP) camps and two mobile clinics submitted timely weekly reports; a gradual increase from 16 reporting units since week 6 (n=16).
The number of consultations increased by a fraction (n=342) during the reporting period from 13,492 (male=6476 and female=7016) in week 7 to 13,834 (male=6501 and female=7332) in week 8. The highest number of consultations (n=3290) recorded in week 8 were reported in Shariya camp run by Medair.
Qatar Red Crescent (QRC) has lately signed a bilateral memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), to serve as a general framework for their systematically coordinated relations, through exchange of experience, cooperation in projects, and other forms of joint action.
Lasting for five years, renewable, the MoU was signed by Mr. Saleh bin Ali Al-Mohannadi, QRC Secretary General, and Dr. Ibrahim Al-Ziq, Gulf Area Representative, UNICEF.
· Across the region, UNICEF vaccinated over 25 million children against polio including 2.9 million children in Syria alone resulting in the successful containment of the disease.
· UNICEF and partners provided water treatment chemicals to clean water for the network that reached 16.5 million people inside Syria, and has provided 2.1 million people with safe drinking water in host communities and camps in neighbouring countries
- In paragraph 6 of its resolution 2169 (2014), the Security Council requested me to report every three months on progress made towards fulfilling the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). The present report covers key developments related to Iraq, and provides an update on the activities of the United Nations in Iraq since the issuance of my first report dated 31 October 2014 (S/2014/774).
JORDAN PUBLIC HEALTH SURVEILLANCE
The Ministry of Health Jordan, with the support of WHO, implemented two phases of a pilot public health surveillance project between May and December 2014.
The project introduced case-based, integrated disease surveillance of mental health, non-communicable and communicable disease, and is programmed using mobile technology and an online framework.
WHO and the Directorate of Health (DOH) conducted investigations of suspected cases of H1N1 in Missan and Kirkuk governorates. Two cases in Missan and one case in Kirkuk tested positive for Influenza A (H1N1) following laboratory confirmation.
WHO shipped and delivered a lifesaving antidote for 14 year old boy. This was in response to forensic investigations conducted by the Department of Forensics in Baghdad, which diagnosed the boy with “acute Thallium Poisoning”.
IMPACT OF CRISIS
No child need ever again suffer polio-paralysis, but experts warn of grave humanitarian consequences if success is not reached
Ministers of health, health leaders and other global public health experts attending this week’s Executive Board (EB) meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, were encouraged by progress towards achieving a polio-free world. Yet they warned that as long as the disease remained anywhere, children everywhere are at risk. The meeting noted that achieving eradication, a global public good, could only be achieved through global solidarity.
100% of Syrian Refugees (233,625) have access to health care
• More than 39,000 refugees utilized available primary, secondary and tertiary health care services provided by the Directorate of Health (DoH) and NGO partners with the support of UN agencies. The overall health care utilization rate is increasing with the onset of winter; no outbreaks of communicable diseases occurred.