POLIO [to 24 January 2015]

POLIO [to 24 January 2015]
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

GPEI Update: Polio this week – As of 21 January 2014
Global Polio Eradication Initiative
[Editor’s Excerpt and text bolding]
Full report: http://www.polioeradication.org/Dataandmonitoring/Poliothisweek.aspx
:: Ministers of Health from around the world will convene next week at WHO’s Executive Board meeting, to set global public health policies. Among other topics, representatives are expected to review the current polio epidemiology and global preparedness plans for the phased removal of oral polio vaccines. A report has been prepared, to facilitate discussions, available here and below.
:: In Nigeria, the Expert Review Committee on Polio Eradication and Routine Immunization (ERC) is meeting this week to discuss aggressive strategies to urgently eradicate both wild- and vaccine-derived polioviruses in the country as rapidly as possible.
:: The first wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) case of 2015 is reported this week, from Pakistan. The case had onset of paralysis on 3 January, from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. See ‘Pakistan’ section for more.
:: Bill and Melinda Gates, co-chairs of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, this week published their annual letter, outlining how they believe the world will look like in 15 years. In the letter, they highlight the urgent need to eradicate polio. “Destroying a disease utterly is a very difficult thing to do – so difficult in fact, that it’s happened only once in history, when smallpox was eradicated in 1980. But if we keep working hard… we can get polio out of Africa this year and out of every country in the world in the next several years.”

Selected country report content:
:: Seven new wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) cases were reported in the past week, including the first case with onset of paralysis in 2015. The total number of WPV1 cases in 2014 is 303, and one for 2015 (onset of paralysis on 3 January, from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – KP).
:: Pakistan accounts for more than 85% of all WPV1 cases worldwide in 2014.
:: To urgently address the intense transmission affecting the country, the government has put in place emergency measures to take advantage of the upcoming ‘low season’ for poliovirus transmission (in the early part of 2015). A ‘low season plan’ has been established, based on lessons learned on accessing populations in insecure areas, engaging communities and fixing remaining operational challenges. Implementation is overseen by Emergency Operations Centres at federal and provincial levels to ensure accountability for the quality of polio eradication operations. More
West Africa
:: Even as polio programme staff across West Africa support efforts to control the Ebola outbreak affecting the region, efforts are being made in those countries not affected by Ebola to vaccinate children against polio to create a buffer zone surrounding the Ebola-affected countries. The Ebola crisis in western Africa continues to have an impact on the implementation of polio eradication activities in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Supplementary immunization activities (SIAs) in these countries have been postponed and the quality of acute flaccid paralysis surveillance has markedly decreased throughout 2014.
:: NIDs are planned using bivalent oral polio vaccine (OPV) in Niger and Benin on 27 February to 2 March, and Subnational Immunization Days (SNIDs) tentatively in Mali in February with dates to be confirmed. From 27 to 31 March, NIDs will take place in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger and Senegal using trivalent OPV. NIDs are also scheduled on those dates for the three Ebola-affected countries Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.


Poliomyelitis: Report by the secretariat
WHO 136th Executive Board (January 2015)
EB136/21 – 16 January 2015 – Provisional agenda item 8.2