SEA/RC66/13 - Progress reports on selected regional committee resolutions: challenges in polio eradication (SEA/RC60/R8)
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AbstractPolio eradication continues to be a priority in the WHO South-East Asia Region. This paper presents an update on the progress towards, and challenges to, polio eradication. The Region has made tremendous progress towards polio eradication in the past year. In January 2013, the South-East Asia Region marked two polio-free years – its longest polio-free period. The last wild poliovirus case in the Region was reported from India on 13 January 2011. The Region is currently on track for polio-free certification in February 2014, three years after the last reported case. Successes and lessons learnt in building a highly sensitive surveillance network for polio eradication have been expanded to include strengthening surveillance for other vaccine-preventable diseases and monitoring of routine immunization activities. Despite the tremendous progress made towards polio eradication, the Region remains at risk to importation of polioviruses as long as they are circulating anywhere in the world. Risk mitigation activities are critical to monitoring and maintaining regional gains in polio eradication, which include high-quality sensitive acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) surveillance and high population immunity against polio through routine immunization. Polio eradication requires sustained funding; a substantial proportion is currently being met through external funding. Member States can help the eradication effort by committing funds for vaccine-preventable disease surveillance, outbreak response and strengthening routine immunization service delivery. As the Region approaches polio-free certification in early 2014, its focus will need to shift to post-polio eradication activities, which include implementation of the Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013–2018 and legacy planning for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI). The High-Level Preparatory (HLP) Meeting held in the Regional Office in New Delhi from 1 to 3 July 2013 reviewed the attached working paper and made the following recommendations: Actions by Member States (1) To maintain high population immunity through strengthening routine immunization and supplementary immunization, as appropriate, based on periodic risk assessment. (2) To ensure that all children, including migrants, the unreached, marginalized and underserved, also receive the vaccine. (3) To strengthen surveillance for early detection of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP). (4) To develop plans of action for the Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018. (5) To review and strengthen national policy on vaccination for travellers to mass gatherings and to and from polio-endemic countries and areas with active polio transmission. Actions by WHO-SEARO (1) To monitor periodically the risk status of Member States and provide advice on the most appropriate response. (2) To provide technical support and resource mobilization for development of country-specific plans of action for the polio endgame, including the switch to bOPV and introduction of IPV. (3) To promote technology transfer to the extent possible for vaccine development in vaccine-developing countries in the Region. The working paper and the HLP Meeting recommendations are submitted to the Sixty-sixth Session of the Regional Committee for its consideration.
World Health Organization, Regional Office for South-East Asia. (2013). SEA/RC66/13 - Progress reports on selected regional committee resolutions: challenges in polio eradication (SEA/RC60/R8). WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/128281
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