Three wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) cases were reported from South Sudan this week. Genetic sequencing is underway to determine the origin of the isolated viruses and possible relation to the ongoing Horn of Africa outbreak. The cases are from North Bahr El Gazal state (close to the border to Sudan) and Eastern Equatoria state (close to the border with Kenya and Uganda). The cases have triggered a full outbreak response from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) operational perspective. For more information see the ‘Horn of Africa’ section below.
Eight new WPV cases were reported from north-west Pakistan. Seven are from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and one from Khyber Pakhtoon (KP). The majority (67%) of WPV from Pakistan this year are from FATA, the bulk of which are from North Waziristan (10) and Khyber (10).
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reasserted Pakistan’s commitment to eradicate polio in a speech at the UN General Assembly on Friday 27 September 2013: “We have also made eradication of polio in Pakistan a matter of great importance for my Government, as we are determined to make Pakistan a polio free country."
The Independent Monitoring Board met 1-2 October in London, UK. The IMB reviewed the latest epidemiology and programme developments. The next IMB report is expected to be issued within two weeks of the meeting. For more on the meeting, please click here.
On 26 September, the Polio Oversight Board (POB) met with donors and other key stakeholders to review progress against the GPEI’s Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018, launched earlier this year. To read more about the POB and the results of the recent meeting please click here.