SEA/RC65/14 - 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 (SEA) Region. This paper presents an update on the progress and challenges to polio eradication. India has made tremendous progress towards polio eradication. It was the only country in the SEA Region that had endemic transmission of wild poliovirus (WPV) in 2011. As a result of concerted effort over the previous 12–24 months, the number of polio cases in India decreased by over 99% as compared with 2009. In 2011, only one wild poliovirus case was detected – the lowest number since surveillance was initiated in 1997. Success and lessons learnt in building a highly sensitive surveillance network for polio have been expanded to include strengthening surveillance for other vaccine-preventable diseases and monitoring routine immunization activities. Strategies adopted to stop polio transmission in India represent a multipronged approach. Eradication challenges have been approached systematically with specific programmes: the 107 high-risk block initiative in historically polio-endemic areas of western Uttar Pradesh and central Bihar has focused on rapid improvement in sanitation, availability of clean water, hygiene and prevention/control of diarrhoea; migrant populations that have played an important role in sustaining and spreading polio have been targeted for surveillance and immunization activities; and, the introduction of bivalent oral polio vaccine (bOPV) has provided an additional tool for epidemiological-based supplemental immunization activities. With continued, sustained effort in 2012–2013, we can look forward to certifying the Region polio-free in 2014. Finally, polio eradication requires substantial funding. A substantial proportion is being met through external funding; Member States can help the eradication effort by committing funds for surveillance, outbreak response, and strengthening routine immunization delivery. The HLP Meeting held in the Regional Office in New Delhi from 2 to 5 July 2012 reviewed the working paper and made the following recommendations: Action by Member States (1) To maintain high-quality AFP surveillance, high routine immunization coverage and supplementary immunization as required and adequate and timely response to an importation by implementation of the WHO advisory on polio immunization for travellers. Action by WHO/SEARO (1) To provide technical support for Member States in maintaining high-quality AFP surveillance, high routine immunization coverage and supplementary immunization as required, and adequate and timely response to an importation. The working paper and the HLP meeting recommendations are submitted to the Sixty fifth Session of the Regional Committee for its consideration.
World Health Organization. Regional Office for South-East Asia. (2012). SEA/RC65/14 - Progress reports on selected Regional Committee resolutions: Challenges in Polio Eradication (SEA/RC60/R8). WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia. https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/128315
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