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July 2011

All data as of 27 July 2011                                                         Download: english ¦ french   



 FACTS & FIGURES

  • There have been 286 cases globally in 2011 (250 wild poliovirus type 1 - WPV1 - and 36 WPV3), compared with 576 cases at the same time in 2010 (515 WPV1 and 61 WPV3).

  • The number of cases seen this year (286) is approximately half the number of cases seen this time last year (576). However this figure is skewed by last year's large outbreak in Tajikistan, which accounted for 457 cases. The last case seen in Tajikistan had onset of paralysis on 4 July 2010 – over a year ago.

  • India, Gabon and Niger have all gone six months without reporting a case.


 

 

HEADLINES

IMB report released: Following its quarterly meeting in London from 30 June to 1 July, the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) issued a report which concludes that eradication is still possible in the near term, but only if several important changes are made. The report expresses particular concern over the polio eradication programmes of the 're-established transmission' countries - Angola, Chad and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The IMB calls the ongoing global funding gap (US $590 million for 2011-2012) 'deadly serious', arguing that it is 'neither right nor sustainable' that the burden of financing should rest disproportionately on a narrow funding base of core donors. More

IEAG produces aggressive plans for eradication in India: The India Expert Advisory Group (IEAG) agreed upon an aggressive strategy to halt transmission of polio in India at their meeting on 13-14 July. The Government of India requested the group to provide recommendations on how to consolidate the gains and ensure that the job is finished. After reviewing recent supplementary immunization activities (SIAs) and surveillance data, the IEAG agreed on a set of measures designed to ensure that no polio cases are overlooked and no children are missed by vaccinators. Among the measures advised by the IEAG, each state has been called upon to produce a detailed risk analysis and an emergency plan to deal with any new cases. More

Pakistan reports Asia's first WPV3 for 2011: Asia's first case of wild poliovirus type 3 (WPV3) for 2011 was reported in Pakistan in a 16-month old child from an inaccessible area of Khyber Agency, Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) (onset of paralysis on 9 June). This new case is reported from the same area which reported the last WPV3 case in Asia, in November 2010. Confirmation of continued WPV3 transmission in tribal areas of Pakistan has significant implications for the objective of achieving eradication of WPV3, as any potential spread of the virus imperils achievement on the Asian continent. WHO has alerted its Member States, through the International Health Regulations (IHR) mechanism, of the significance of this WPV3.

Burkina Faso sees first WPV3 case in more than 10 years: Burkina Faso has reported its first case of WPV3 in more than ten years. The case was reported in Banfora with onset of paralysis on 2 May. The area has since been covered three times by supplementary immunization activities (SIAs) using bivalent oral polio vaccine (bOPV).

Polio-funded staff assisting Horn of Africa response: A coordinated response including WHO and several aid and humanitarian agencies has been initiated to assist the countries of the Horn of Africa, affected by the worst drought in the region in 60 years. The hundreds of skilled polio personnel on the ground in the Horn of Africa have been involved since the crisis began. Polio resources such as communications and transportation capability have been made available. This coordinated response will work to meet the health, sanitation, food and water needs of the people affected. More

'The End of Polio' campaign commences: A non-governmental organization - the Global Poverty Project - launched 'The End of Polio' campaign on 25 July, calling on the leaders of the Commonwealth countries to increase support to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. The 100-day campaign is timed to coincide with the lead up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth on 28-30 October. Three of the four endemic countries are members of the Commonwealth (India, Nigeria and Pakistan). More

Government of Pakistan devolves responsibility for health: The health portfolio has been devolved from the Ministry of Health to the provincial level. A 'Coordination Cell for Polio' in the Prime Minister's office will continue to be operational.

OIC reaffirms commitment to polio eradication: Polio eradication was one of the few health topics discussed at the 38th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the newly renamed Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC - formerly known as the Organisation of Islamic Conferences). A resolution resulting from the session urges, among other things, that "the member states affected by polio, AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria… undertake necessary steps to fight these dangerous communicable diseases and requests the potential donors to give generously to the GPEI [Global Polio Eradication Initiative] and the Global Fund". More
  


 

ENDEMIC COUNTRIES

AFGHANISTAN

  • The Short Interval Additional Dose (SIAD) strategy continues to be used to rapidly improve immunity in the high-risk areas of Hilmand and Kandahar. This approach is particularly useful in areas of insecurity, to rapidly administer an additional dose to children during any eventual lull in conflict.

INDIA

  • The IEAG, meeting on 13-14 July, agreed upon an aggressive strategy to halt transmission of polio in India. More 
  • As the high season for poliovirus transmission approaches and people begin moving across the country to participate in upcoming religious festivals, health officials are keeping a close watch for any emerging cases. 
  • Two important meetings have been planned for early August in New Delhi. A high level ministerial meeting on increasing and sustaining immunization coverage in the South-East Asia Region is scheduled for 2 August, followed by an EPI Managers Meeting on 3-4 August.

NIGERIA

  • Environmental surveillance has commenced in Kano, the first of its kind in Nigeria. Environmental surveillance has played a crucial role in providing additional data in other endemic areas, notably Pakistan and India, helping to gain a clearer epidemiological picture and drive eradication strategies. 
  • Eighteen senior supervisors have been deployed from southern areas to support polio infected areas throughout the Immunization Plus Days being held in 11 high-risk northern states from 28-30 July. 
  • Following rapid surveillance assessments in Kano, Kebbi, Katsina and Plateau states, further assessments are planned in additional high-risk areas in the north. These assessments are part of ongoing efforts to strengthen sub-national surveillance, and findings are used to improve and fine-tune activities. Implementation of recommendations from these reviews will be tracked monthly by national authorities. Results from the recent and upcoming rapid surveillance assessments will help to inform a comprehensive, nationwide surveillance review to take place later in the year.   

PAKISTAN

  • The confirmation of a new WPV3 in the country led to a SIA response with the aim of rapidly increasing immunity to both remaining wild virus strains. A SIAD campaign, consisting of two rounds in quick succession, was conducted in Khyber Agency. In a further response, the countries of Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean have been advised to strengthen acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) surveillance to rapidly detect any poliovirus importations and facilitate a swift response should importation occur. Countries should also continue to boost routine immunization coverage against all strains of polio to minimize the consequences of any introduction.

  • Improving immunity is particularly important as Ramadan and the Hajj approach. During these periods there is an increase in population movement as large numbers converge on Mecca in Saudi Arabia, creating the potential for the virus to spread. Once again, Saudi Arabia will be requiring all visitors from endemic or re-infected countries to be immunized prior to arrival, and all will receive an additional dose upon entering the country. As per recommendations outlined in WHO's International travel and health, travellers to and from Pakistan should be fully protected by vaccination.  


RE-ESTABLISHED TRANSMISSION COUNTRIES

ANGOLA

  • As there is indication that surveillance may have gaps at the sub-national level, a series of rapid surveillance assessments are taking place throughout July and August to identity and address these gaps. 
  • Following the 8-10 July Supplementary Immunization Activities, the country has published a special bulletin about its efforts to get polio eradication back on track.  

CHAD

  • A full surveillance review took place in Chad from 15-30 July, to identify and find ways to address any gaps in surveillance at the sub-national level.  

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO (DRC)

  • SIAD campaigns were held in July in Bas Congo, Bandundu and Kinshasa in response to recent cases.  
     

IMPORTATION COUNTRIES


HORN OF AFRICA  

  • Polio eradication staff and relevant partners are meeting this week in Kenya to coordinate polio eradication campaigns and consider the role of polio-funded staff and resources in the response to famine and drought in the region. 
  • Despite recent indications suggesting access may have improved, south-central Somalia remains inaccessible. The security situation will be reassessed over the coming weeks. 

WEST AFRICA  

  • A multi-country campaign covering Côte d'Ivoire and other high-risk areas began on 24 July. The overall security situation in Côte d'Ivoire is settling; however the situation remains volatile in some areas of the country.