Update: Polio this week – As of 19 June 2013
Global Polio Eradication Initiative
[Editor’s extract and bolded text]
:: Eleven new cases of wild poliovirus were reported in the Horn of Africa this week (the bulk in Somalia). None of the new cases represent breakthrough transmission since outbreak response activities began. See ‘Horn of Africa’ section for more
:: One new WPV case was reported in the past week (WPV1 from Bauchi), bringing the total number of WPV cases for 2013 to 26. It is the most recent WPV case in the country and had onset of paralysis on 18 May.
:: Two new WPV cases were reported in the past week (WPV1s from Khyber Agency in Federally Administered Tribal Areas – FATA, and from central Punjab), bringing the total number of WPV cases for 2013 to 16. The case from Punjab is the most recent WPV case in the country and had onset of paralysis on 26 May.
Horn of Africa
:: Eleven new WPV cases were reported in the past week (ten WPV1s from Somalia and one WPV1 from Kenya), bringing the total number of WPV1 cases in the region to 25 (19 WPV1s from Somalia and six WPV1s from Kenya). One of the newly-reported cases from Somalia is the most recent, with onset of paralysis on 25 May (from Banadir).
:: Although newly-reported cases are increasing, it is important to note that none of these cases represent breakthrough transmission since outbreak response activities began.
:: However, of concern is that one of the newly-reported cases is from a district in Lower Shabelle region in south-central Somalia where access for supplementary immunization activities (SIAs) has been compromised for the past three years. Surveillance in this area, however, remains functional. As many as 500,000 children in this area are at particular risk of polio at the moment. Efforts are ongoing to operate in this area, and vaccinations are continuing at entry and exit points to build up immunity levels.
:: In Somalia, the third round of outbreak response campaigns is being conducted this week, including in Banadir (which includes Mogadishu), targeting all age groups…
Editor’s Note: We observe that while GPEI’s weekly update had consistently included reports of attacks of polio immunization workers wherever they occurred, this reporting has apparently been dropped. We did not encounter any alert or acknowledgement by GPEI of this change and hope a clarification may be issued in a weekly report soon. As we view such incidents as a strategic challenge to eradication, we will include reports of such attacks as an addendum to the weekly GPEI report here.
Pakistani militants shoot dead two polio vaccination workers
Murders raise to nearly 20 the number of health workers killed on campaign to help rid Pakistan of endemic disease
Associated Press in Peshawar, Pakistan; The Guardian Sunday 16 June 2013 14.54 EDT
Gunmen have killed two anti-polio health workers in north-west Pakistan, police said on Sunday, in the latest violence directed at efforts to eradicate the endemic disease from the country.
Two attackers shot the Pakistani health workers, who were on a vaccination drive in Kandar village, said Swabi district police chief, Mohammad Saeed. The gunmen arrived on foot and later disappeared, he added…