POLIO – Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Emergencies

POLIO
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Polio this week as of 09 September 2020

Summary of new WPV and cVDPV viruses this week (AFP cases and environmental samples):
:: Afghanistan: Four WPV1 cases
:: Pakistan: Three WPV1 cases and 17 WPV1 positive environmental samples
:: Chad: three cVDPV2 cases
:: Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo): 15 cVDPV2 cases
:: Sudan: eight cVDPV2 case

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Statement
Polio programme accelerates efforts to respond to new polio outbreaks in Sudan and Yemen
Joint statement by WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Region Dr Ahmed Al Mandhari and UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa Region Ted Chaiban
AMMAN/CAIRO, 11 September 2020 – “The recent vaccine-derived polio outbreaks confirmed in Yemen and Sudan are consequences of increasingly low levels of immunity among children. Each outbreak has paralysed children in areas that have been extremely difficult if not impossible to reach with routine or supplementary polio vaccination for extended periods of time.

“These outbreaks do not come as a total surprise. In Sudan, extensive population movement by nomadic communities, people displaced by conflict, frequent movement between neighbouring countries and restricted access in some areas have made it enormously difficult to reach every child with vaccines. The cases in Yemen are clustered in the Sa’adah Governorate in the war-ravaged country’s north-west, an area that has very low routine immunization levels and has been inaccessible to the polio programme for more than two years. The last house-to-house campaigns in this area were in November 2018…

…The outbreaks in Sudan and Yemen are the first new polio outbreaks in the COVID-19 era in our region. WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean Region is also responding to circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus outbreaks in Somalia, Afghanistan and Pakistan. We know that when national authorities, communities and polio programme partners pull together, we can end outbreaks – just as we did in Syria in 2018. But if we cannot reach every child across these regions with life-saving vaccine, we fear that even more countries will see children tragically and permanently paralysed by a disease that can – and must – be stopped…

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