Somalia Polio Flash Update: Week 38 2020

Situation Report
Originally published


• One case of polio, currently classified as an ambiguous vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (aVDPV2), was confirmed this week, with date of onset on 18 September 2020. The affected child lives in an accessible village in Borama District, Awdal region. This case is not genetically linked to any other VDPV2 viruses detected in Somalia.

• In total, 19* children with cVDPV have been identified across Somalia since the initial detection of the ongoing cVDPV2 and cVDPV3 outbreaks in late 2017.

• No cVDPV2 positive environmental samples were reported this week. 20 cVDPV2 positive environmental samples have been reported so far in 2020, including two from ad-hoc sites in Baidoa.

• This ongoing isolation of poliovirus from both the environment and cases suggests continuing transmission of cVDPV2 among the population.

• Steps taken in response to recent detection of cases include detailed case investigations, sensitizing health workers to acute flaccid paralysis, and intensified active case search.

• From 20 to 23 September, a mOPV2 case response, which has been postponed since March 2020, resumed with COVID-19-preventative measures in place. This house to house campaign took place in south and central zones of Somalia, with the aim of reaching 1.65 million children.

• Comprehensive communications for development activities took place to support the campaign, supported by 1695 community mobilizers. Activities included deploying sound trucks, radio spots, poster distribution and engaging community elders to spread awareness of the importance of vaccination.

• Forty-five new measles cases were reported this week, underlining the vulnerability of many unvaccinated Somali children to common childhood illnesses.