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Polio Highlight

Alternative algorithm for poliovirus isolation and characterization

As the countries of the world advance towards the eradication of wild poliovirus, it is necessary to maintain good quality laboratory results and improve the timeliness of polio confirmation.

To achieve this, the Global Polio Laboratory Network (GPLN) of the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended the implementation of a new algorithm for viral isolation, using the cells RD and L2OB simultaneously, permitting the report of results within 14 days of receipt of the stool specimen in the laboratory (previously, 28 days were considered appropriate).

PAHO continues to be committed to the global eradication of polio; therefore it will monitor the implementation of this algorithm, and update its Weekly Polio Bulletin in order to show compliance with laboratory indicators.

For more information, please refer to the "Supplement to the WHO Polio Laboratory Manual" available below: http://www.who.int/immunization_monitoring/laboratory_polio_resources/en/index.html

Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 March 2012 11:04

In Angola, UN chief launches annual polio eradication drive

27 February 2012 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today launched a national polio vaccination campaign in Angola, where the crippling disease has returned despite being eradicated in 2001, and praised the Government for its leadership on the issue.

Angola provides a large majority of the funding needed to vaccinate the country’s children.

“I am deeply grateful to President [Jose Eduardo] dos Santos his personal commitment to this cause,” Mr. Ban told community members participating in the launch in Viana, near the capital city of Luanda.

Angola had eradicated polio in 2001, but the disease returned within the following four years.

The Secretary-General said this showed the importance of responding to any new cases and immunizing every child against polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases.

“Polio eradication must be treated as a public health emergency,” said Mr. Ban, stressing the need to also keep track of the situation, improve the water supply, and a create a clean environment and strong surveillance system. He stressed that all Angolans, “health workers, volunteers, mothers and fathers,” have to play their part to rid the country of polio. “In the future, generations will thank you for your work today,” he said.

The Secretary-General also helped administer vaccine drops to some children. “The vaccine is so easy to administer, even I have done it,” he said.

Also today, Mr. Ban held meetings with the President, the Foreign Minister and civil society, discussing, among other issues, how to strengthen the partnership between the UN and Angola.

He commended the authorities for progress on the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and encouraged them to push even harder, and to work toward a more equitable distribution of wealth.

Source: UN News Centre

President Goodluck Jonathan launched Nigerian Presidential Task Force

His Excellency the President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, launched a Presidential Task Force last week to oversee implementation of the national polio emergency action plan.

He emphasized the urgency, and a strong commitment, to complete the goal of polio eradication as rapidly as possible. He also pledged financial commitments from Nigeria of US$30 million per year for polio eradication activities.

"Nigeria is still a sanctuary of wild polio and we are becoming a threat to other countries," he said at the official launching of the Task Force. "It is quite embarrassing especially considering the fact that polio is a disease that we can conveniently eradicate."

We urge countries to classify 2011 AFP cases

PAHO urges countries to classify 2011 AFP cases
Last Updated on Monday, 12 March 2012 12:13

India Officially Removed from the List of Polio-endemic Countries

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially removed India from the list of countries considered to have never interrupted the transmission of polio. India has not had a case of polio since 13 January 2011, and no recent environmental samples have identified wild poliovirus.
  • In a speech celebrating this accomplishment, the Prime Minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh, confirmed India's commitment to continue efforts to protect the people of India from the possible re-importation of polio. Prime Minister Singh also expressed optimism that India's success proved the viability of global polio eradication by saying "it is a matter of satisfaction that we have completed one year without any single new case of polio being reported from anywhere in the country. This gives us hope that we can finally eradicate polio not only from India but from the face of the entire mother earth. The success of our efforts shows that teamwork pays."
  • The Prime Minister made the comments on the occasion of a two day Polio Summit held in Delhi, organized jointly by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Rotary International. The event was attended by the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad, and also saw participation of Federal Minister for Interprovincial Coordination of the Government of Pakistan, Mir Hazar Khan Bijrani; Minister of Health and Population of the Government of Nepal Rajendra Mahato; Deputy Minister of Health, Government of Sri Lanka, Lalith Dissanayaka; Ministers of State for Health and Family Welfare, Shri Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Shri S Gandhiselvan, Secretary Health and Family Welfare Shri P K Pradhan, Rotary International President Mr. Kalyan Banerjee and The Rotary Foundation Chairman Mr. William Boyd.
  • At the event, participants publicly committed to the 'Delhi Commitment for Polio Eradication', urging for collective and continued vigilance against polio.

For more, please visit www.polioeradication.org.

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