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Polio Highlight

Meeting of the Polio Laboratory Network

From 10-12 September 2012, a Meeting of the Polio Laboratory Network for the Region of the Americas was held at the Malbran Institute in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The main objectives of the meeting were to: review the status of the Polio Laboratory Network of the Americas; review and discuss recent advances in virological and molecular methodologies used in the Global Polio Laboratory Network (GPLN); and discuss issues relevant to the functioning of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Laboratory Network and the management of laboratories. Representatives of nine out of the 11 polio laboratories in the Region, as well as the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) and PAHO’s Immunization Program participated in the meeting.


The SAGE met this week in Geneva, Switzerland

The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) met this week in Geneva, Switzerland.  Among other topics relating to immunization, SAGE reviewed a detailed summary of the current status of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and impact of the national emergency action plans in the remaining three endemic countries.  For more on SAGE, please click hereFor 2012 PAHO's Technical Advisory Group on Vaccine-preventable Diseases (TAG) recommendations, please click here. 

Last Updated on Monday, 12 November 2012 17:01

PAHO Celebrates more than 20 years without Polio in the Americas and Calls to Maintain High Vaccination Coverage

The Region of the Americas recorded no cases of wild polio virus since 1992 thanks to the efforts of the countries of the region, and technical cooperation of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), by vaccinating children and maintaining high vaccination coverage and sustained surveillance.
Last Updated on Friday, 26 October 2012 09:45

World Polio Day

There’s a lot to celebrate this World Polio Day, 24 October

In all but three countries of the world, governments supported by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative have stopped transmission of this crippling virus. This year, fewer children (171) have been paralyzed by polio, in fewer parts of the world than ever before.

Since the launch of the GPEI’s Emergency Action Plan in May 2010, India – long thought to be the hardest place from which to eradicate polio – has stopped polio transmission. Polio now survives among the most marginalized communities of just three countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.

Polio eradication is at a pivotal point, and the three countries and the partners supporting them are all in emergency mode. A massive surge of human resources – over 4000 people – has been deployed to assist the countries, but local ownership is at the heart of these efforts:

  • Traditional leaders take part in the selection of vaccinators in Nigeria
  • ‘Permanent’ polio vaccination teams operate in insecure parts of Afghanistan to ensure children can be vaccinated regardless of who controls the area
  • The overall administration at a district-level in Pakistan – not the health sector alone – is accountable for reaching every child in the area with vaccine 
  • A single focal point, a polio ‘tsar’, reports on the country’s progress to the head of state in all three countries.

In 2012, 398 million children have been vaccinated against polio. This week alone, nearly 20 million children are being vaccinated, in eight countries in Africa where children still face a high risk of polio paralysis.

Failure to eradicate polio would lead eventually to at least 200,000 children paralyzed worldwide every year, and as recent outbreaks in polio-free areas such as Tajikistan and China have shown, increasingly, adults have also been paralyzed, and killed. Only eradication will ensure a polio-free world. And prove that every child, everywhere, can be reached with life-saving vaccines.

To draw attention to this once-in-a-generation opportunity, join the world’s biggest commercial put together by Rotary International. And take action: write to world leaders, download an action pack


Original source: The Global Polio Eradication Initiative

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 09:23

China One Year Polio-free

9 October 2012 marked 12 months since China’s last polio case.

In 2011, polio from Pakistan had infected the country, which had eradicated indigenous polio in 1994. China conducted a model response, and successfully stopped the outbreak in record time – three months from index to last case. For more on the outbreak response implemented in China, please click here

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