POLIO [to 29 October 2016]

POLIO [to 29 October 2016]
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Polio this week as of 25 October 2016
:: 24 October marked World Polio Day, providing an opportunity to celebrate progress towards a polio-free world and the tireless efforts of many towards this goal. Rotarians and other partners across the world celebrated the day, by raising critical awareness of the need to complete the job. Click the following links for a selection of global awareness raising events marking World Polio Day: Rotary’s annual World Polio Day event; Getting to zero cases by Philanthropy Age; and Spotlight World Polio Day 2016.

: The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on immunization (SAGE) met last week in Geneva, Switzerland. On polio eradication, the group expressed serious concern at the global supply situation of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV), and strongly recommended that countries consider adopting fractional intradermal use of IPV in both routine and supplementary immunization activities, to reduce the volume of IPV needed to cover a population.

:: News from around the polio world:
Afghanistan National Emergency Action Plan 2016-2017; Recognizing Health Care Workers; and, the Fight to End Polio in Afghanistan

:: News from around the polio world:
Polio Programme Supports Anti-Fistula Efforts in Ethiopia
Containment: Shutting the Proverbial Door on Polioviruses

Country Updates [Selected Excerpts]
:: Three new WPV1 positive environmental samples were reported in the past week, all from Balochistan (Quetta, Pishin and Killa Abdullah), with collection dates in mid-September. Continued detection of environmental positives throughout 2016 confirms that virus transmission remains geographically widespread across the country, despite strong improvements being achieved.
:: Efforts continue to further strengthen immunization and surveillance activities in all provinces of the country.


Major campaign launched to immunize 5.8 million Iraqi children against polio
Baghdad, Iraq, 25 October 2016 – On World Polio Day the Ministry of Health with support from UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a weeklong nationwide campaign to immunize Iraq’s children against polio.

Under the slogan “two drops can change a life,” the 5-day campaign aims to reach an estimated 5.8 million children under the age of 5 in Iraq, regardless of previous vaccination status.

Polio is a highly infectious viral disease that attacks the nervous system. Children under 5 years of age are the most vulnerable to the disease, but timely immunization can prevent infection.
“The Government of Iraq is committed to polio eradication, and conducted 16 campaigns to that end in 2014 and 2015 as part of the Middle East polio outbreak response,” said UNICEF Representative in Iraq Peter Hawkins.

Since April 2014, no new polio cases have been reported in Iraq, thanks to the Government’s strong commitment and the hard work of frontline workers. In May 2015, Iraq was removed from the list of infected countries.

However, the risks of a resurgence persist due to possible surveillance and immunization coverage gaps among Iraq’s displaced populations as well as those living in inaccessible areas and informal settlements.

“There is still a risk of polio returning to Iraq,” said WHO Representative to Iraq, Altaf Musani. “Polio transmission is ongoing in Pakistan and Afghanistan and new cases of polio have also been confirmed in Nigeria,” he said. ”Until transmission is stopped globally, we need to maintain high levels of vaccination coverage and keep surveillance systems strong, to be on the alert for the virus,” he added.

The Iraq Polio partnership conducted 2 national immunization rounds in February and April this year, reaching over 91% of the targeted population.

This month’s vaccination campaign will be conducted by the Iraqi Ministry of Health (with support from WHO and UNICEF, with special attention to the most vulnerable children in internally displaced persons (IDPs) and Syrian refugee camps, informal settlements, host affected communities and newly retaken areas. More than 25 000 vaccinators will go from house to house during the campaign, visiting families.

WHO will cover the operational cost, intra and post campaign monitoring, while UNICEF will provide support for focused social mobilization services. In coordination with the Federal Ministry of Health, the Kurdistan Regional Government Ministry of Health, Zain and Korek Telecommunications Company will contribute into social mobilization and communications campaign with a focus on IDPs.

Yellow Fever [to 29 October 2016]

Yellow Fever [to 29 October 2016]

[See Yellow Fever discussion in SAGE meeting summary in Milestones section above]

Yellow fever situation report
28 October 2016
Read the full situation report
Key updates
Angola epidemiological update (as of 22 September):
:: The last confirmed case had symptom onset on 23 June.
:: Two new probable cases without a history of yellow fever vaccination were reported from Kwanza Sul province in the last week.
:: Phase II of the vaccination campaign is ongoing targeting more than 2 million people in 10 provinces.

Democratic Republic of the Congo epidemiological update (as of 18 September):
:: The last confirmed non-sylvatic case had symptom onset on 12 July.
:: A new confirmed, sylvatic case was reported from Bominenge Health Zone in Sud Ubangui province.
:: 14 probable cases are under investigation
:: The reactive campaign in Mushenge Health Zone in Kasai province, which began on 20 October, is ongoing.

:: The majority of the probable cases in Angola have been ruled out as yellow fever cases by the Institut Pasteur of Dakar. They will remain classified as probable cases until a full battery of tests has been run to determine other possible causes of illness. Once the final results are received the cases will be reclassified. Coincidentally, a previously scheduled pre-emptive vaccination campaign is ongoing in Kwanza Sul province where 2 new probable cases were reported.

WHO & Regional Offices [to 29 October 2016]

WHO & Regional Offices [to 29 October 2016]

WHO financing dialogue
28 October 2016 – The financing dialogue is a key element of WHO’s reform process to better address the increasingly complex challenges of health in the 21st century. From persisting problems to new and emerging health threats, WHO needs the capability and flexibility to respond to this evolving environment. WHO is making some fundamental changes to enable it to respond faster and more effectively to emergencies, as well as to anticipate future health challenges and to minimize their impact

Over 1 million treated with highly effective hepatitis C medicines
27 October 2016 – Over one million people in low- and middle-income countries have been treated with a revolutionary new cure for hepatitis C since its introduction two years ago. The new medicines have a cure rate of over 95%, fewer side effects than previously available therapies, and can completely cure the disease within three months.

Trachoma: WHO-led alliance awarded for saving the sight of millions
October 2016 – The WHO Alliance for the Global Elimination of Trachoma by the year 2020 (GET2020) has been awarded the Global Partnership Award by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness. The award is in recognition of the remarkable work accomplished by the Alliance in implementing the WHO-recommended SAFE strategy.

New web portal on health law and universal health coverage
October 2016 – With countries working towards universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals, WHO has developed a new portal to help strengthen health laws and regulatory systems. The portal provides guidelines, case studies, research, lessons learned, and other resources on health law topics


Weekly Epidemiological Record, 28 October 2016, vol. 91, 43 (pp. 501–516)
Progress towards eliminating onchocerciasis in the WHO Region of the Americas: verification of elimination of transmission in Guatemala
Progress report on the elimination of human onchocerciasis, 2015–2016
10 facts on rabies


:: WHO Regional Offices
Selected Press Releases, Announcements
WHO African Region AFRO
No new content identified.

WHO Region of the Americas PAHO
:: Haiti’s Ministry of Health organizing a vaccination campaign against cholera in areas affected by Hurricane Matthew, supported by PAHO-WHO, UNICEF and other partners (10/27/2016)

WHO South-East Asia Region SEARO
:: Prevent brain stroke – 29 October 2016

WHO European Region EURO
:: Europe strengthens its role in international outbreak response and calls for GOARN 2.0 27-10-2016
:: Italian Government provides funding to improve health services in eastern Ukraine 26-10-2016
:: Lead Poisoning Prevention Week: ban lead paint 26-10-2016

WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region EMRO
:: WHO releases emergency funds to support cholera response in Yemen
27 October 2016 – WHO has released approximately US$ 1 million from its internal emergency funds to support the ongoing response to the cholera outbreak in Yemen. Since the outbreak was announced by the Ministry of Public Health and Population on 6 October, a total of 1184 suspected cases of cholera, including 6 deaths, have been reported. More than 7.6 million people are currently living in areas affected by the outbreak, and more than 3 million internally displaced persons are especially vulnerable.
:: New neonatal intensive care unit at Heevi Paediatric Hospital in Iraq gives newborns a fighting chance – 26 October 2016
: WHO expands the system for detection, alert, and containment of potential epidemics in light of Mosul humanitarian response – 26 October 2016
:: Major campaign launched to immunize 5.8 million Iraqi children against polio
25 October 2016

WHO Western Pacific Region
:: WHO stresses the importance of neonatal best practices for a healthy start to life
MANILA, 25 October 2016 – The neonatal period is one of the most crucial phases in the survival and development of a child. At the recently concluded session of the WHO Regional Committee for the Western Pacific, Member States widely acknowledged the importance of Early Essential Newborn Care (EENC) in reducing neonatal mortality in the Region, and highlighted significant progress made in countries towards scaling-up EENC.

CDC/ACIP [to 29 October 2016]

CDC/ACIP [to 29 October 2016]
Media Statement
CDC, Miami-Dade and Miami Beach collaborate and make progress on better understanding and stopping the Zika outbreak
CDC continues to support local efforts to prevent new infections of Zika in Miami-Dade County. To see the latest situation firsthand, Dr. Frieden traveled to Miami on Tuesday, October 25….

Media Advisory
CDC Foundation’s New Business Pulse Focuses on Reducing Tobacco Use
“Business Pulse: Tobacco Use”, launched today by the CDC Foundation, focuses on how employers can improve employee health by reducing tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke.

Transcript for CDC Press Conference: Can polio be eradicated despite recent setbacks?
Transcript and audio recording of World Polio Day Press Conference

Media Advisory
Can polio be eradicated despite recent setbacks?
The world is at the brink of a historic moment: eradication of polio, one of the most feared scourges of humanity; yet, recent setbacks threaten this long-awaited achievement. On World…


MMWR Weekly October 28, 2016 / No. 42
:: Outbreak of Influenza A(H3N2) Variant Virus Infections Among Persons Attending Agricultural Fairs Housing Infected Swine — Michigan and Ohio, July–August 2016
:: Preparedness for Zika Virus Disease — New York City, 2016

Announcements: IFFIm issues US$ 500 million in 3-year floating rate Vaccine Bonds

Gavi [to 29 October 2016]

IFFIm press release (restricted access)
IFFIm issues US$ 500 million in 3-year floating rate Vaccine Bonds
Funding to increase immunisation of children in the poorest countries

London, 26 October 2016 – The International Finance Facility for Immunisation Company (IFFIm) today priced a US dollar floating rate benchmark bond issuance. The US$ 500 million, 3-year Vaccine Bonds provide investors an opportunity to fund immunisation programmes by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi), helping protect millions of children in the world’s poorest countries against preventable diseases.

This marks IFFIm’s first visit to the international US dollar benchmark market since 2013, and is IFFIm’s third transaction in the public dollar markets in addition to its two successful US dollar denominated sukuk transactions. The issuance was lead managed by Citi, Deutsche Bank and J.P. Morgan. The issue maturing on 01 November 2019 has a re-offer of 100% and carries a quarterly coupon of +26 basis points over the 3-month USD Libor rate.

“IFFIm Vaccine Bonds continue to attract investors worldwide who want to “do good and do well,” says IFFIm Chair René Karsenti. “IFFIm is very pleased to re-enter the FRN market with this socially responsible transaction which helps to fund life-saving immunisation programmes for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.”…

Industry Watch [to 29 October 2016]

Industry Watch [to 29 October 2016]
:: PaxVax’s Vaxchora™ Now Available as the Only U.S. Approved Vaccine for Protection Against Cholera
REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Oct. 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — PaxVax, Inc. announced that Vaxchora™ is now available in the United States (U.S.) as the country’s only vaccine for protection against cholera, a highly contagious intestinal diarrheal infection that can cause death in less than 24 hours if left untreated.1…

Vaxchora, a single-dose vaccine, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in June 2016 for use in U.S. adults traveling to cholera-affected areas as an active immunization against disease caused by Vibrio cholerae serogroup O1. Also in June 2016, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted unanimously to recommend Vaxchora for travelers to areas of active cholera transmission…

“We are excited that Vaxchora is now available to Americans traveling to areas affected by cholera. This is particularly timely in light of the number of U.S. citizens, including members of the U.S. military, joining relief efforts in Haiti,” said Nima Farzan, Chief Executive Officer and President of PaxVax. “Vaccinating those traveling to cholera-affected areas can help mitigate its spread and can help protect them against the disease,” said Farzan.

PaxVax has also made a donation to international medical organization Partners In Health (http://www.pih.org) to support the relief efforts in Haiti with specific focus on cholera prevention and treatment.

BMGF – Gates Foundation [to 29 October 2016]

BMGF – Gates Foundation [to 29 October 2016]

OCTOBER 27, 2016
Global Britain, Global Health
Bill Gates backs British innovation, challenges UK government to step up investment in science and R&D
LONDON/SEATTLE (October 27, 2016) – Today Bill Gates, Sir Richard Branson, and Secretary of State for International Development, Priti Patel, will join over 1,000 of the world’s leading scientists in London to celebrate the Grand Challenges programme that finds solutions to the toughest problems in health and development. Grand Challenges partners have invested more than $1 billion into more than 2,000 innovations from 87 countries. Also today, a ground-breaking new programme to fight Zika, Dengue and Yellow Fever will be announced…