GPEI – Update: Polio this week – As of 30 November 2013

Update: Polio this week – As of 30 November 2013
Global Polio Eradication Initiative
Full report:
[Editor’s extract and bolded text]

:: In Syria, four new wild polio virus type 1 (WPV1) cases were reported in the past week. New cases in Aleppo and Douma (rural Damascus) indicate that polio is spreading within the country and reaffirm the urgent need to vaccinate all children in Syria, regardless of who controls the area where they are.

:: In Kenya, the government declared polio a public health emergency on 22 November and directed the Ministry of Health to fast-track the immunization activities and to ensure the entire country is covered.

:: One new WPV1 case was reported in the past week from FR Bannu, Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The total number of WPV1 cases for Pakistan in 2013 is now 64. The most recent WPV1 case had onset of paralysis on 4 November (from FATA).
:: Two new cVDPV2 cases were reported in the past week. The total number of cVDPV2 cases for 2013 is now 43. The most recent cVDPV2 case had onset of paralysis 27 October (from North Waziristan, FATA).
:: The situation in North Waziristan is alarming. It is the area with the largest number of children being paralyzed by poliovirus in all of Asia. Immunization activities have been suspended by local leaders since June 2012. It is critical that children in these areas are vaccinated and protected from poliovirus. Immunizations in neighboring high-risk areas are being intensified, to further boost population immunity levels in those areas and prevent further spread of this outbreak.

Chad, Cameroon and Central African Republic
:: In Cameroon, two new WPV1 cases were reported in the past week, both from Malentouen in Ouest region. The total number of WPV1 cases is now four. The most recent case in Cameroon had onset of paralysis on 30 October 2013 (WPV1 from Ouest).

Middle East
:: In Syria, four new WPV1 cases were reported in the past week, two from previously infected district Mayadeen in Deir-Al-Zour and one from Douma, rural Damascus and Fardous, Aleppo, respectively. The total number of WPV1 cases is now 17. The new cases in Aleppo and rural Damascus signal that polio is spreading in the country, but are also a sign that workers are actively looking for cases of polio. Prior to the outbreak wild poliovirus was last reported in Syria in 1999.
:: In the Middle East, a comprehensive outbreak response continues to be implemented across the region. The large-scale supplementary immunization activity which started in Syria on 24 October to vaccinate 1.6 million children against polio, measles, mumps and rubella, in both government-controlled and contested areas, has been completed.
:: Seven countries and territories are holding mass polio vaccination campaigns repeatedly targeting 22 million children under the age of five years over the next 6-8 months. In a joint resolution, all countries of the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region have declared polio eradication to be an emergency, calling for support in negotiating and establishing access to those children who are currently unreached with polio vaccination.
:: WHO and UNICEF are committed to working with all organizations and agencies providing humanitarian assistance to Syrians affected by the conflict. This includes vaccinating all Syrian children no matter where they are, whether in government or contested areas, or outside Syria.