• Two cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) were reported this week, with date of onset on 18 June and 29 June 2020. Both affected children live in accessible areas of Banadir region, one in Abdul-Aziz district and the other in Shibis district.
• These are the first cVDPV2 cases to be reported in Somalia in 2020. Both cases are genetically linked to the existing cVDPV2 outbreak in the country.
• In total, 18 children with polio have been identified across Somalia since the initial detection of the ongoing cVDPV2 and cVDPV3 outbreaks in late 2017.
• Four new cVDPV2 positive environmental samples were also reported this week, two from two environmental surveillance sites in Banadir, and two from new surveillance sites in Baidoa. This brings the total number of cVDPV2 positive sewage samples to 17 so far in 2020.
• This ongoing isolation of poliovirus from both the environment and cases suggests continuing transmission of cVDPV2 among the population.
• Efforts are underway to enhance both active AFP surveillance and environmental surveillance to ensure the programme is sensitive to detecting virus in different parts of the country. A number of new potential sites for sewage collection in Baidoa and Kismayo have been identified and tested, resulting in the two detections of cVDPV in the environment in Baidoa. The polio team is evaluating the future of these sites and the ongoing possibility to detect polioviruses using them.
• Planning is ongoing for the resumption of polio immunization campaigns, which were paused across the country in light of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. The polio teams are monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely to ensure that implementation of mOPV2 case response, which has been postponed since March 2020, can resume in safe conditions.