March 2017                              Download [pdf]        
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Dear polio eradication supporter,

In March, we saw the incredible scale of the polio eradication programme on full display, when an astounding 116 million children in 13 countries across Africa received polio drops over the span of just four days. On International Women’s Day on March 8, we recognised how critical women are in delivering these vaccines around the globe.

 116 MILLION CHILDREN VACCINATED ACROSS AFRICA

116 children were vaccinated across 13 countries in just four days. © UNICEF

One of the largest synchronised vaccination campaigns in Africa took place on 25-28 March, aiming to reach 116 million children with polio vaccines. Close to 200,000 health workers worked tirelessly over the four days to vaccinate children in 13 countries across Central and West Africa. The campaign is part of an urgent effort to stop polio on the continent following the outbreak in Nigeria in 2016.

WOMEN LEAD ERADICATION EFFORT

Women in India are at the heart of keeping the country polio-free. © BMGF

On March 8, the world celebrated International Women’s Day, offering a chance to highlight the invaluable role women play in the global effort to eradicate polio. Working on the ground and at the highest levels of government, women are instrumental in protecting children from this disease.

COUNTRIES TO CONTAIN POLIOVIRUSES

Laboratories must safely contain polioviruses to keep the world polio-free. © WHO/L. Dore

Type-2 wild poliovirus has been eradicated, but laboratory samples of the virus can still be found in a handful of countries around the world. The WHO is supporting the containment of type-2 poliovirus in laboratories and vaccine manufacturing facilities to prevent its reintroduction into communities. This effort is key in ensuring the world stays polio-free after eradication.

Reaching Mobile Populations in Pakistan

Using micro-plans, female health workers in south Punjab are reaching high-risk migrant children. [See more

A finer sieve

Environmental surveillance plays an increasingly important role in the drive to eradicate polio.
[See more]

Monitoring for Signs of Polio in Afghanistan

A network of 21 000 volunteers across Afghanistan are watching for signs of polio, in order to find every virus. [See more]

Commonwealth Day Event Addresses Gender Equality & Polio

Global Citizen and the Governments of the United Kingdom and Malta hosted an event in New York City to highlight the Commonwealth’s role in achieving global goals, including polio eradication. 
[See more]

POLIO IN NUMBERS

Wild poliovirus in 2017

- Global Total:  5 (9)
- Global WPV1: 5 (9)
- Global WPV3: 0 (0)
 

Endemic: 5 (9)

- Afghanistan: 3 (2)
- Pakistan: 2 (7)
- Nigeria: 0 (0)
  
Data as of 29 March 2017. Numbers in brackets represent data this time in 2016.

Current case map
 

POLIO IN THE NEWS

Los Angeles Times: One way the Islamic world is tackling its problem with childhood vaccines

Reuters: Polio vaccine campaign targets 100 million African children to stop Nigeria outbreak spreading

The Scientist: Pathway to polio virulence revealed
 

FUNDING UPDATES

The Pakistan Assistance Program of the United Arab Emirates continued its strong support of polio immunization activities in high-risk districts in Pakistan, providing US$ 9.4 million to WHO.

Monaco contributed €150 000 for Niger, continuing its long term commitment to a polio-free Africa and bringing its support to US$ 1 million over the 2013-2017 period.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provided WHO with US$ 106 million for global polio eradication activities.

Rotary International organized an executive breakfast on polio eradication at the European Parliament in Brussels as part of the GPEI’s continued engagement with the EU, a key donor since 1996.
 
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