Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)
Polio this week as of 3 April 2019
:: The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on immunization (SAGE) met on 2-4 April 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. Among other immunization topics, SAGE was provided an update on the latest global epidemiology on polio eradication efforts and an overview of the GPEI Endgame Strategy 2019-2023. In addition, SAGE endorsed the guidelines for surveillance of vaccine-derived polioviruses in persons with primary immunodeficiency diseases.
:: The Pakistan Regional Polio Laboratory is nearing completion with funding from Japan International Cooperation Agency. Read more here.
:: Read about the smart interactive visualization being used for disease surveillance and routine immunization assessments for polio eradication efforts in South Sudan.
Summary of new viruses this week:
:: Afghanistan— one wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) case;
:: Pakistan –six WPV1-positive environmental samples;
:: Nigeria— two circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2)-positive environmental isolates.
Kabul, 1 April, 2019 – The first round of polio national immunization days began on 1 April 2019 in Afghanistan. The 5-day campaign will target over 9.3 million children under-5 years of age in all of Afghanistan’s provinces, except Bamiyan, Daikundi and Ghor provinces due to bad weather.
During the campaign about 8.4 million children aged between 6 months to 5 years will also be given vitamin A capsules. Vitamin A helps to build a child’s immunity and reduces the risk of diarrhoea, respiratory infections and measles.
The most recent case of polio was reported from the Shahid-e-Hassas district of Uruzgan province, which permanently paralysed a 26-month-old male child. This is third case in Afghanistan in 2019; 2 other cases were reported from Kandahar province.
Dr Feroz emphasized the importance of the campaign and called on all people to work together to eradicate polio. “This is the first national campaign this year and we couldn’t stress this enough, but please open your doors when the vaccinators come knocking, bring out your children, protect them against this incurable disease.”
Dr Peeperkorn highlighted the effort to eradicate polio globally, calling on all partners to “keep the eyes on the prize, as humanity is on the verge of one of the greatest public health achievement in history – eradicating polio. Afghanistan can end polio for the world, so let us work together, keep our neutrality, work with all layers of society and achieve our goal together.”
Polio is incurable and can paralyse children for life. The only way to prevent polio is to vaccinate all children with 2 drops of polio vaccine, every time it is offered, until they are 5 years of age. Children are protected more with every additional dose of oral polio vaccine. Repeated vaccines help to build strong immunity of the child and the whole community.
In addition to highlighting the importance of eradicating polio, all parties reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen routine immunization, stressing that expanding access to immunization is vital for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, poverty reduction and universal health coverage.
The polio vaccine is safe and effective and has no side-effects. It has been strongly endorsed by prominent local and international Islamic scholars. It is critical to vaccinate all children under 5 across the country to stop the virus, including all sick children and newborns, whose immunity is weak against this disease.
[Editor’s Note: We recognize serious inaccuracies about OPV in this WHO EMRO announcement].
WHO has posted a refreshed emergencies page which presents an updated listing of Grade 3,2,1 emergencies as below.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: Youth speaking to youth about dodging bullets and Ebola in Democratic Republic of the Congo April 2019
:: 35: Situation report on the Ebola outbreak in North Kivu 2 April 2019
:: DONs – Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo 4 April 2019
Bangladesh – Rohingya crisis – No new digest announcements identified
Myanmar – No new digest announcements identified
Nigeria – No new digest announcements identified
Somalia – No new digest announcements identified
South Sudan – No new digest announcements identified
Yemen – No new digest announcements identified
WHO Grade 2 Emergencies [to 6 Apr 2019]
:: Vaccination campaign against measles, mumps and rubella concludes in Iraq 1 April 2019
Brazil (in Portugese) – No new digest announcements identified
Cameroon – No new digest announcements identified
Central African Republic – No new digest announcements identified
Ethiopia – No new digest announcements identified
Hurricane Irma and Maria in the Caribbean – No new digest announcements identified
MERS-CoV – No new digest announcements identified
Niger – No new digest announcements identified
Sao Tome and Principe Necrotizing Cellulitis (2017) – No new digest announcements identified
Sudan – No new digest announcements identified
Ukraine – No new digest announcements identified
WHO Grade 1 Emergencies [to 6 Apr 2019]
:: Around 9.3 million children to be vaccinated in first round of polio campaign in 2019
1 April 2019
Chad – No new digest announcements identified
Indonesia – Sulawesi earthquake 2018 – No new digest announcements identified
Kenya – No new digest announcements identified
Lao People’s Democratic Republic – No new digest announcements identified
Mali – No new digest announcements identified
Namibia – viral hepatitis – No new digest announcements identified
Peru – No new digest announcements identified
Philippines – Tyhpoon Mangkhut – No new digest announcements identified
Tanzania – No new digest announcements identified
WHO AFRO – Outbreaks and Emergencies Bulletin
Week 13: 25 – 31 March 2019
The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 65 events in the region. This week’s edition covers key new and ongoing events, including:
:: Response to the tropical cyclone in southern Africa
:: Ebola virus disease outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: Meningitis outbreak in Togo
:: Lassa fever outbreak in Liberia.
UN OCHA – L3 Emergencies
The UN and its humanitarian partners are currently responding to three ‘L3’ emergencies. This is the global humanitarian system’s classification for the response to the most severe, large-scale humanitarian crises.
Syrian Arab Republic
:: Humanitarian Update Syrian Arab Republic – Issue 02 | 4 April 2019
People in need of humanitarian assistance 13M
People in acute need of humanitarian assistance 5.2M
Internally displaced people (as of August) 6.2M
Returnees (January – December 2018) 1.4 M
People in need in UN-declared hardto-reach areas 1.1M
Yemen – No new digest announcements identified
UN OCHA – Corporate Emergencies
When the USG/ERC declares a Corporate Emergency Response, all OCHA offices, branches and sections provide their full support to response activities both at HQ and in the field.
:: Ethiopia Humanitarian Bulletin Issue #6 | 18 – 31 March 2019