Jean-Marc Olivé, Chairman of the Technical Advisory Group, reflects on what needs to be done to end polio in the Horn of Africa.
From the 27 – 29 November, the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) met in Nairobi to review the outbreak response in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, and preparedness measures in Yemen, Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan, South Sudan and Djibouti in case of international spread.
Featured on www.polioeradication.org: Mohamed Shire, polio expert from Somalia: from smallpox to polio, a life spent pursuing eradication of diseases; Going the distance to end polio in Papua New Guinea: a video diary of vaccination teams travelling for days by road and helicopter to reach even the most remote areas.
A review committee met in Nairobi to review progress of the African region towards being certified polio-free
Efforts to end polio across the WHO African Region came under the microscope at a meeting of the Africa Regional Commission for the Certification of poliomyelitis eradication (ARCC) held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 12 – 16 November 2018.
In the Horn of Africa, health workers are using application-based technology to respond to poliovirus outbreaks with greater speed and accuracy.
What is polio surveillance?
One of the most challenging aspects of polio eradication is timely disease surveillance: knowing where the poliovirus is lurking, so we can roll out targeted immunization activities quickly and effectively. With new tools, eradicators are getting the information they need in real time.
Afghanistan aims to reach the most vulnerable in Southern and Eastern provinces.
In November, polio vaccination teams across Afghanistan targeted 5.3 million children under the age of five in high-risk provinces. The vaccination campaign came on the heels of several newly reported cases. Afghanistan has 19 documented cases of wild poliovirus in 2018, as of November. Confirmation of even one polio case anywhere signals remaining vaccination coverage gaps which must be filled to achieve eradication.