JUNE 2014                 Download [pdf]
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Dear Polio Eradication Supporter,
June has seen massive displacement of population from North Waziristan, Pakistan, and the escalation of fighting in Iraq: both developments that test the polio programme’s preparedness, flexibility and use of innovative approaches and partnerships. As thousands of people move out of North Waziristan, the programme has seized the opportunity and has been working with local governments to identify displaced populations and reach them with the polio vaccine at either permanent transit points, or camps, or once they reach host communities. In Iraq, plans have been adapted to access and immunize displaced populations in new locations.


On 7-8 June, a door-to-door polio vaccination campaign reached more than 42,000 children in the Bara area of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Pakistan. This was the first time in five years that a comprehensive campaign has been conducted in Bara, an area previously inaccessible due to insecurity. The campaign – led by the FATA Secretariat and conducted by volunteers – was made possible by new financial support from the United Arab Emirates. 


The ongoing outbreak in Equatorial Guinea has paralyzed four children to date this year. The country has carried out three nationwide immunization campaigns, with more activities planned for mid-July and August.  Virus linked to the country was detected in the sewage in Brazil in March this year: a reminder of the importance of responding to outbreaks efficiently, of the critical need to vaccinate residents of Equatorial Guinea before international travel and of the need for all countries to maintain surveillance and high immunity against polio. 


In May 2013, Somalia reported its first case of polio in six years, marking the beginning of an outbreak that has paralyzed more than 200 people in the Horn of Africa. The programme’s robust response, which has included over 40 campaigns spanning Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, has slowed the outbreak, with only two cases in 2014 – one in Ethiopia and one in Somalia.
But the threat of spread persists: pockets of children in hard-to-reach areas are still unable to receive vaccines. Dr. Hassan Khan, a WHO Medical Officer in Somalia, shares insight on how vaccination efforts unfold on the ground.


The GPEI mourns the loss of Dr. Ciro de Quadros, a true hero in the effort to protect all children from vaccine-preventable diseases, who passed away on 28 May. Read more


At an International Ulema Conference on Polio Eradication organized by the Islamic Development Bank, leading Islamic scholars called for the entire Muslim world to unite in eradicating polio, and declared polio vaccination as a parental and community responsibility. The scholars were convened from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Afghanistan and Nigeria. Read more.


On 16 June, the Polio Partners Group (PPG) – which serves as the stakeholder voice for the GPEI – convened and re-affirmed its commitment to follow through on the Endgame strategy. The PPG expressed concern at recent setbacks, and emphasized the need to strengthen outbreak prevention and response efforts. It also encouraged the GPEI to sustain the positive momentum in Nigeria and Afghanistan and support Pakistan to improve its program.   The co-chairs presented the outcomes of the meeting to the Polio Oversight Board later in the week. Read co-chairs statement here

On 20 June, the Polio Oversight Board (POB) – made up of the heads of GPEI partners WHO, UNICEF, Rotary International and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and senior leadership from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – met for the third time this year to examine progress against the Strategic Plan and review updates on GPEI management, financials and communications. Among other decisions, the POB endorsed additional activities to protect at-risk polio-free areas. 


Speaking at Rotary International’s Annual Convention in Sydney on 1 June, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced his government’s US$ 94.4 million commitment for polio eradication.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a Japanese ODA loan agreement with the Federal Government of Nigeria to provide US$ 81 million for polio eradication.

In an agreement signed this week in Oslo, Norway has committed to contribute US$ 190 million to the GAVI Alliance’s polio work for the period 2014-2019 to support the introduction of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) in GAVI-supported countries. 


Wild poliovirus in 2014

- Global Total: 106 (77)
- Global WPV1: 106 (77)
- Global WPV3: 0 (0)

Endemic: 93 (46)

- Afghanistan: 6 (3)
- Nigeria: 4 (26)
- Pakistan: 83 (17)

Importation countries: 13 (31)

- Equatorial Guinea: 5 (0)
- Iraq: 2 (0)
- Cameroon: 3 (0)
- Syria: 1 (0)
- Ethiopia: 1 (0)
- Somalia: 1 (25)

As of 24 June 2014. Numbers in brackets represent data this time in 2013.

Current case map
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