POLIO [to 12 March 2016]

POLIO [to 12 March 2016]
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

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Polio this week as of 9 March 2016
:: 8 March marked International Women’s Day – a great opportunity to thank the many thousands of women who have been instrumental in the progress of polio eradication around the world. Read more here.
:: A new short film shown at the Ministerial Conference on Immunization in Africa demonstrates the value of the polio infrastructure in serving broader health goals. Watch the video here.
:: There are six weeks to go until the globally synchronized switch from the trivalent to bivalent oral polio vaccine.
Selected Country Levels Updates [excerpted]
Afghanistan
:: The first case of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) in 2016 was reported in the past week, in the district Shigal Wa Sheltan in Kunar province, with onset of paralysis on 1 February.
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
:: Two new cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1 (cVDPV1) were reported in the past week, in the districts of Phonhong and Muen of Vientiane province, with onset of paralysis on 18 October 2015 and 3 January 2016 respectively. The total number of cVDPV1 cases in 2015 is now 8 and in 2016 is now 3.
:: An emergency outbreak response is continuing in the country, with particular focus on three high-risk provinces.
:: Efforts continue to further strengthen surveillance activities in all provinces of the country, to assure that no cVPDV1 transmission is missed anywhere.
:: Sub-National Immunization Days (SNIDs) are planned for March using tOPV. Both campaigns are targeting an expanded age group of children up to the age of 15 years.-

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WHO: Women working for polio eradication in Pakistan
9 March 2016 – Women are at the centre of the polio eradication effort in Pakistan. Thousands of women: vaccinators, lady health workers, social mobilizers, union council polio workers, area coordinators, polio eradication officers work with communities every day to deliver vital immunizations against polio and other vaccine preventable diseases….

…In many parts of Pakistan, and indeed in parts of Noorjahan’s area, male vaccinators cannot enter the home to deliver vaccine to children during immunization days. Noorjahan says that being a woman she doesn’t face the same cultural barriers.

…Recruiting more female social mobilizers and vaccinators has proven to be one of the most innovative solutions to respond to the challenges in reaching every child in Pakistan. There are more than 177 000 vaccinators working in teams across Pakistan, 58% of whom are females. Thousands more women support vaccination as social mobilizers…