• The Somalia Polio Programme has not confirmed any new cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) in children with acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) since 8 May 2019. A total of three cVDPV2 cases have been reported in Somalia across 2019;
• A cVDPV2 was recently detected (onset 25/05/2019) during routine collection of healthy child samples from in a child from Ufen district, of Bari region, Puntland, indicating evidence of ongoing circulation of the virus;
• Ethiopia confirmed a case of cVDPV2 on 9 June 2019. This child was identified in May in Somaliland, after the child had travelled from Dolo, Somali Region of Ethiopia. The detected virus has links to a cVDPV2 case previously detected in a child from Buhodle district in Somalia in 2018;
• The Somalia Polio Programme last detected and confirmed circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 3 (cVDPV3) in a child with AFP on 7 September 2018;
• Somalia has confirmed a total of 15 cases of children with cVDPV since onset of the ongoing type 2 and concurrent type 3 outbreaks (eight children with cVDPV type 2, six children with cVDPV type 3 and one with co-infection of cVDPV2 and cVPDV3).
In response to the detection of the circulating type 2 virus in Somalia, a series of targeted campaigns using monovalent oral polio vaccine type 2 (mOPV2) are underway. The next campaign is planned for 21 August. Health workers are intending to reach 1.1 million children under the age of five living in Puntland and Somaliland with the life-saving vaccine. This campaign will be synchronized with parallel immunization activities carried out in Somali region, Ethiopia.
Preparation for the Campaign
• In preparation for the August campaign, an immunization activity review workshop has been initiated in Hargeisa and Garowe to discuss the results of the last vaccination round, and the way forward to ensure better campaign quality.
• A revaccination strategy has also been finalized, to help ensure that more children will receive vaccine doses.
• To help reduce the number of children missed by polio vaccination teams, UNICEF has planned joint training for vaccinators and house–to-house mobilizers.