As the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) enters its 31st year, the Chairs of the effort’s main global advisory bodies issue an extraordinary joint statement, urging all involved in the effort to excel in their roles.
During the four-day visit to polio endemic countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan, WHO Director General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, reiterated WHO’s commitment to help endemic, outbreak and at-risk countries rid of poliovirus. Read the press release here.
In Mozambique, a circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) outbreak is confirmed. See ‘Mozambique’ section below for more details.
As of 1 January 2019, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has taken over as the Chair of the Polio Oversight Board. Starting on 4 January, accompanied by Dr Al Mandhari, RD/EMRO, Dr Tedros’ first trip will be to Kabul, Afghanistan and Islamabad, Pakistan to meet with Heads of State and polio teams to reinvigorate support for polio eradication.
Summary of new viruses this week: Afghanistan – four WPV1-positive environmental samples; Pakistan – two WPV1-positive environmental samples
In the Horn of Africa polio outbreak, immunization efforts are focusing on a group known as “special populations”.
Since polio was confirmed in Somalia in late 2017, health authorities have led a complex response to twin outbreaks of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 and type 3 (cVDPV2 and cVDPV3), paying special attention to high-risk populations: nomads, internally displaced people (IDPs), and people living in peri-urban slums and rural areas.
Over 140 public health experts from 22 countries gather at the 6th Regional Meeting on Polio in Guatemala
“On the way to global certification” was the theme of this year’s Regional Meeting on Polio, which convened on 6 December 2018 in Guatemala City. Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) urged collective action to not only ensure that there is no re-emergence of polio in the Americas, but also to lend support in the global fight against polio.
- Featured on www.polioeradication.org: interview with Jean- Marc Olivé, Chairman of the Technical Advisory Group, on what needs to be done to end polio in the Horn of Africa; Djibouti carried out a successful round of National Immunization Days (NIDs) …
Early analysis of campaign data points to a successful vaccination round in a polio-free country at risk of possible importation.
In the last week of October, Djibouti’s Ministry of Health, working with WHO, UNICEF and other partners, successfully carried out the country’s first polio National Immunization Days (NIDs) since 2015.
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.
Summary of new viruses this week: Afghanistan –five wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) positive environmental samples. Pakistan –one WPV1 positive environmental sample. Papua New Guinea – three cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1 (cVDPV1). DRC- one case of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2). Nigeria – two cases of cVDPV2. Somalia- two cVDPV2 positive environmental samples. See country sections below for more details.
Eradicating polio in India was nothing less than a feat of dedication, commitment and doubling down on immunization activities. Given India’s vast population, tropical climate, and other environmental challenges, it would be easy to imagine that if polio couldn’t be stopped, India would be the place to fail.
Simply put: it was a challenge. After all, India constituted over 60% of all global polio cases as recently as 2009.
HOW TO CUT A LONG STORY SHORT
This is the 16th report produced by the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI).
Summary of new viruses this week: Afghanistan – No new cases of wild poliovirus (WPV1) or WPV1 positive environmental samples. Pakistan – Two new cases of wild poliovirus (WPV1) and two WPV1 positive environmental samples. Papua New Guinea – no new cases reported this week. Democratic Republic of Congo – two new cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2). Nigeria- four new cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2). Somalia- no new cases reported this week. Niger- one new case of circulating vaccine-driven polio virus type 2 (cVDPV2).
- World Polio Day activities garnered global attention. Partners, donors, and popular public figures around the world brought attention to the cause of polio and the efforts to eradicate polio. A quick overview of some of the World Polio Day highlights
- Summary of new viruses this week: Afghanistan – Three new cases of wild poliovirus (WPV1) and four WPV1 positive environmental samples.
Religious clerics promote routine immunization and other health services by delivering messages to husbands, fathers and sons at mosques.
Malam Musa Abubakar was an ardent opponent of polio vaccination and other health services, not allowing his children to be immunized or his wives to receive antenatal care or other health services.
- World Polio Day activities are in full swing. Join partners around the world in raising awareness about the global effort to eradicate polio.
- Summary of newly-reported viruses this week: Afghanistan – one wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) positive environmental sample; Pakistan – two WPV1 cases and four WPV1-positive environmental samples; and, Nigeria – one cVDPV2 case and three cVDPV2-positive environmental samples. See country-specific sections below for further details.