Welcome to the first issue of the Polio Pipeline! The purpose of this newsletter is to keep partners and the scientific community informed about what is happening in the increasingly complex research pipeline for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI). This newsletter is being coordinated by the Research and Product Development team of the Polio Eradication Department at the World Health Organization (WHO).2007 was a successful year for polio eradication with poliovirus type 1 transmission at the lowest levels ever. While this progress is continuing in 2008 in Asia, this year is seeing a resurgence of type 1 in parts of Africa. There also remain continuing challenges, particularly in northern Nigeria and in India (Uttar Pradesh and Bihar states), which warrant enhanced efforts of those in the field as well as those engaged in research.While our urgent mission remains the completion of eradication, we must also address the various policy issues associated with the post-eradication era. Research encompasses both supporting the completion of eradication, as well as addressing the
post-eradication era.The expanded research agenda includes dozens of projects from a wide range of core scientific disciplines. Consequently, it has become challenging for people interested in polio eradication to track all of the research work being done and keep apprised of changes in the strategy.Because publication and diffusion of research in peer-reviewed literature can take time to unfold, the Advisory Committee on Poliomyelitis Eradication (ACPE) – the global body providing strategic guidance to the GPEI – recommended:“WHO should develop a GPEI research newsletter for regular dissemination to the scientiﬁc community, with interim updates on the GPEI website.”This newsletter is envisioned as an effective means of keeping all of our partners up- to-date on the goals, strategies and status of ongoing and pending research.
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The following proposals were discussed and endorsed by the committee for priority follow-up and funding:
The PRC is also committed to identifying remaining gaps in knowledge pertain- ing to the interruption of wild poliovirus transmission and preparation for the post- eradication era. This preparation revolves around proposing appropriate studies, de- termining their priority and funding levels, reviewing external research activities and engaging interested parties, stakeholders and potential new collaborators - all chal- lenging undertakings for the PRC during the coming year. To this effect, the PRC is currently soliciting research proposals, ahead of its next meeting in November 2008.
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