Update: Polio this week – As of 19 February 2014
Global Polio Eradication Initiative
Full report: http://www.polioeradication.org/Dataandmonitoring/Poliothisweek.aspx
[Editor’s extract and bolded text]
:: In Pakistan, six new wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) and two new circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) cases are reported, all from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). Five of the cases are from North Waziristan and Peshawar, largely considered the ‘engine’ for polio transmission in the country.
:: One new WPV1 case was reported in the past week from 2014. The total number of WPV1 cases remains 14 for 2013 and is now three for 2014. The most recent WPV1 case had onset of paralysis on 31 January 2014 from Kunar province, Eastern Region
:: Six new WPV1 cases were reported in the past week, four from North Waziristan, FATA and one from Bannu and Peshawar, respectively, in KP. The total number of cases for 2013 remains 93. The total number of cases in 2014 is now 15. The most recent case had onset of paralysis on 31 January (WPV1 from FR Bannu, FATA).
:: Two new cVDPV2 cases were reported in the past week. The total number of cVDPV2 cases for 2013 remains 45, and three for 2014. The most recent cVDPV2 case had onset of paralysis on 24 January (from FR Bannu, FATA).
:: North Waziristan is the district with the largest number of children being paralyzed by poliovirus in the world (both wild and cVDPV2). Immunization activities have been suspended by local leaders since June 2012. It is critical that children in all areas are vaccinated and protected from poliovirus. Immunizations in neighbouring high-risk areas are being intensified, to further boost population immunity levels in those areas and prevent further spread of this outbreak.
:: The densely populated Peshawar valley is considered to be the main ‘engine’ of poliovirus transmission, alongside North Waziristan, due to large-scale population movements through Peshawar from across this region, and into other areas of Pakistan. The quality of operations must be urgently improved in Peshawar, and immunizations resumed in North Waziristan.
:: However, at the same time, concerning trends have been noted in greater Karachi, Sindh and in Quetta, Balochistan. Environmental positives isolates from every major city of Punjab confirm widespread virus circulation
Horn of Africa
:: Two new WPV1 cases from Somalia were reported in the past week. Onset of paralysis for both cases was in June 2013. The cases were reported late due to a laboratory processing backlog. The total number of WPV1 cases in the Horn of Africa is now 215 (192 from Somalia, 14 from Kenya and nine from Ethiopia). The most recent WPV1 case in the region had onset of paralysis on 20 December 2013 (from Bari, Somalia).
:: Outbreak response across the Horn of Africa is continuing. Recommendations from the recently held Horn of Africa Technical Advisory Group (TAG), which convened two weeks ago in Nairobi, are now actively being incorporated into outbreak response planning. The TAG had underscored that the initial response to the outbreak was appropriate, however expressed grave concern that gaps in SIA quality and surveillance remained in key infected areas of the region. Consequently, the group concluded there is a serious risk of the outbreak continuing and of further spread both within and beyond countries of the Horn of Africa. The group recommended that infected countries should focus efforts on high-risk and infected areas, by conducting high-quality SIAs no more than four weeks apart.
:: In Syria, one new WPV1 case was reported in the past week from Hasakeh governorate. The total number of laboratory-confirmed WPV1 cases is now 24. The most recent case had onset of paralysis on 17 December and was reported from Mara, Edleb governorate.
:: Additionally, there are 13 cases confirmed from contested areas but not yet reflected in official figures.
Editor’s Note: Please see post below for:
The polio eradication end game: what it means for Europe
D Heymann 1,2, Q Ahmed3
Volume 19, Issue 7, 20 February 2014
Gunmen kidnap six-member polio team in Pakistan
The Global Post/AFP via Agence France-Presse
February 17, 2014 14:12
The kidnapping is the latest setback to efforts to eradicate the disease in Pakistan. It followed a bombing on Sunday targeting a polio team in Peshawar which killed a policeman.
A Pakistani health worker administers a polio vaccination to a child during a polio immunization campaign in Peshawar on Feb. 2, 2014
Masked gunmen kidnapped a six-member polio vaccination team — a doctor, two local employees of the World Health Organization (WHO) and three guards — in northwest Pakistan on Monday, an official said.
Local administration official Niamat Ullah Khan said the team was seized some 190 miles southwest of Peshawar, in Ping village at the border of South Waziristan.
A local official of the WHO in Peshawar confirmed the incident…
Rotary announced US$36 million in new grants supporting polio eradication. The grants include $6.8 million for Afghanistan, $7.7 million for Nigeria and $926,000 for Pakistan. Grant amounts “are based on requests from eradication initiative partners UNICEF and the World Health Organization, which work with the governments of polio-affected countries to plan and carry out immunization activities.” UNICEF will use a grant of $2.73 million to bolster vaccination activities throughout the Horn of Africa as part of an on-going response to an outbreak that began in 2013 and has now infected more than 200 children. The other countries where Rotary funds will be used to fight polio are Burkina Faso, $2.1 million; Cameroon, $3.4 million; Democratic Republic of Congo, $3.9 million; Niger, $2.3 million; Somalia, $1.3 million; South Sudan, $2.6 million; and Sudan, $1.2 million. WHO also received $934,000 to study the impact of introducing injectable, inactivated polio vaccine into the immunization program as part of the initiative’s endgame plan, as the goal of global eradication nears. Unrelated to this round of grants, Rotary released $500,000 in December 2013 as an emergency response to the polio outbreak in strife-torn Syria, which had not reported polio since 1999. Through Jan. 31, there were 23 confirmed cases in Syria since October 2013, all traceable to the polio strain circulating in Pakistan.