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Polio Highlight

cVDPV2 Outbreak from 2011 in South-Central Somalia is Ongoing

•    In Somalia, a new circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) (onset of paralysis on 9 January 2013) was reported.  
•    This latest case is linked to a cVDPV2 outbreak ongoing in south-central Somalia since 2011 – nine cases were reported in 2011 and one case in 2012 (July).  
•    In 2012, this outbreak spread across the border to Kenya, with three cases reported from Dadaab, in North Eastern Province between April and June 2012.  
•    In late 2012 and January 2013, access to populations is being achieved for the first time in three years in key areas of south-central Somalia, as a result of concerted local-access negotiations.
•    An emergency action plan for south-central Somalia has been developed and is being implemented.  At the same time, efforts are on-going to further boost population immunity levels in accessible, polio-free areas of Somalia, as well as in border areas of Kenya.
•    However, confirmation of this most recent case underscores that the outbreak is ongoing and more outbreak response must be implemented

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 February 2013 14:13

293 2012 AFP cases are pending classification

PAHO urges countries to classify their 2012 AFP cases
Last Updated on Thursday, 28 March 2013 09:58

Dr Carissa F. Etienne Highlights Polio Eradication in her Confirmation Speech

Today, 231 January 2013, Dr. Carissa Etienne, a national from the Caribbean Island-country the Commonwealth of Dominica was officially installed as the new Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO).

In her confirmation speech, Dr. Etienne highlighted regional achievements: “A willingness to embrace innovation and to aim high has helped countries in the Americas eradicate polio, eliminate measles, dramatically increase access to antiretroviral treatments, and meet the health related Millennium Development Goals at the regional level – with the exception of maternal  mortality. I will continue to work with Member States to develop new and innovative approaches to deliver results with increased efficiency and coherence, and to share these experiences with all of WHO."

Read more here

Last Updated on Thursday, 31 January 2013 17:33

WHO and UNICEF condemn attacks on health workers in Pakistan

The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF join the Government of Pakistan and the provinces of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in condemning the multiple attacks that have killed nine health workers this week.

The attacks took place in several locations in Pakistan - Gadap, Landi, Baldia and Orangi towns of Karachi city, Sindh Province and Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. Those killed were among thousands who work selflessly across Pakistan to eradicate polio.

The Government of Pakistan and the affected provinces have temporarily suspended the vaccination campaigns due to concerns over safety of health workers.

Such attacks deprive Pakistan’s most vulnerable populations – especially children – of basic life-saving health interventions. We call on the leaders of the affected communities and everyone concerned to do their utmost to protect health workers and create a secure environment so that we can meet the health needs of the children of Pakistan.

WHO, UNICEF and all their partners in Pakistan and globally express their deepest sympathy to the families of the health workers. We remain committed to supporting the Government of Pakistan and the people of Pakistan in their efforts to rid the country of polio and other diseases.

Joint WHO/UNICEF Statement
18 December 2012



Last Updated on Thursday, 20 December 2012 14:22

Experts Call to Make Polio Vaccine a Prerequisite for Travelers from Endemic Countries

The Independent Monitoring Board (IMB), which monitors the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) is calling on the International Health Regulations Expert Review Committee to recommend by May 2013 that polio vaccination be required before travel for residents of polio-endemic countries. The IMB's November report says countries should require travelers from Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan to present valid polio vaccination certificates before allowing them to cross the border. "Some will see this as [an] extreme move, but it is necessary," says the report.

To read the full IMB November 2012 report go to

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