MAY 2016                                Download [pdf]        
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Dear polio eradication supporter,

 
In May, commitment for polio eradication was emphasised at various high-level meetings around the globe. The 69th World Health Assembly in Geneva opened with the Director-General of WHO recognising progress toward polio eradication. At the 42nd G7 Summit in Ise-Shima, G7 leaders reaffirmed their commitment to polio eradication efforts, recognizing the impact of using polio-related assets to strengthen health systems and achieve universal health coverage.

 WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY

From 23 - 28 May, health ministers from around the world convened in Geneva for the 69th annual World Health Assembly. In her opening remarks, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan recognised the significant progress made against polio in the 28 years since the world first committed to eradication and thanked all those involved in the successful switch from trivalent oral polio vaccine (tOPV) to the bivalent form in April. During the session on polio, global polio epidemiology was reviewed, progress in Africa and the last two polio endemic countries were commended by the member states, and the importance of containment, transition planning and filling the funding gap were highlighted. 

Some 3500 delegates from WHO’s 194 Member States – including a large proportion of the world’s health ministers - attended the Health Assembly. ©WHO/L. Cipriani

 G7 SUMMIT

© Courtesy G7

At the 42nd G7 Summit on 26-27 May in Ise-shima, Japan, global leaders discussed the most pressing issues in the world today. As part of an ambitious global health agenda initiated by the Government of Japan, G7 leaders discussed  pandemic and public health emergency response, anti-microbial resistance, and universal health coverage. The official Leaders’ Statement highlighted the importance of polio eradication and the G7 leaders’ commitment to ending polio was further reflected in the Ise-Shima Vision for Global Health. The G7 emphasised the significant contributions that are being made by polio-related assets, resources and infrastructure to strengthen health systems and achieve universal health coverage. The G7 progress report, which reviews the G7’s progress on commitments made in previous years, also highlighted progress made toward global eradication, their contributions to this effort and the US$ 1.5 billion required to reach global certification of a polio-free world.

 USING DATA TO END POLIO

Data plays a vital role in the fight against polio, providing essential information to GPEI partners, country governments and vaccinators on the ground. Surveillance data is used to search, test and identify every poliovirus, and this information is then used to calculate the number of vaccines required for immunisation campaigns and map where vaccinators need to go door-to-door to reach the most vulnerable. In addition, comprehensive data gathered from health facilities in the most remote corners of the world made the oral polio vaccine switch successful. As shown in this video by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with the help of constantly improving data, researchers, vaccinators and health workers have a better chance of ending polio for good.

OPV SWITCH

As of 18 May 2016, all of the 155 countries and territories have successfully switched from the trivalent to the bivalent oral polio vaccine. 

UKRAINE OFFICIALLY  POLIO FREE

Technical experts concluded that transmission of poliovirus has officially ended in Ukraine – but concerns remain about the high risk of future outbreaks given the significant gaps in immunisation and surveillance. 

POLIO IN THE NEWS

BBC: Pakistan could beat polio in months, says WHO

LA Times: Meet the women trying to rid Pakistan — and the world — of polio

The New York Times: Outsmarting Polio: A New Approach Puts the World on the Brink of Eradicating a Debilitating Disease

 

POLIO IN NUMBERS

Wild poliovirus in 2016

- Global Total:   16 (26) 
- Global WPV1: 16 (26)
- Global WPV3: 0 (0)
 

Endemic: 16 (26)

- Afghanistan: 5 (2)
- Pakistan: 11 (24)
 

Importation Countries: 0 (0)

  
Data as of 1 Jun 2016. Numbers in brackets represent data this time in 2015.

Current case map
 

US congressmen honoured with Rotary Polio Eradication Champion Award

In May, Rotary recognized five members of Congress for their support of the humanitarian service organization’s top priority to eradicate polio, a vaccine-preventable disease that still paralyzes children in parts of the world today. [Read more]

FUNDING UPDATES

USAID provided WHO with US$ 26.72 million primarily for outbreak response and laboratory/surveillance support for regions and countries.

At the Women Deliver conference in Copenhagen, Canada announced Can$ 19.9 million to support eradication efforts in Nigeria.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also provided a second supplement of US$ 19.9 million to WHO.

At the World Health Assembly, Germany announced €10 million for polio eradication efforts in Pakistan. This funding is in addition to its €105 million Vaccine Summit pledge. This month, Germany disbursed €7 328 935 to WHO for efforts in Nigeria as part that pledge. 

The Korea Foundation for International Healthcare (KOFIH) has donated US$ 1 million to sustain and strengthen acute flaccid paralysis surveillance in Nigeria, bringing its total support to US$ 4 million through its public-private partnership with the Community Chest of Korea.

The National Philanthropic Trust released US$ 500 000 to WHO for polio eradication activities in Afghanistan, Egypt and Somalia.

Luxembourg contributed €500 000 flexible funding for polio eradication efforts as part of its multi-year pledge to WHO.

Liechtenstein announced additional funding toward the GPEI, bringing its commitments to polio eradication in 2016 to a total of 70 000 Swiss francs through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s pledge to triple commitments made to polio eradication through Rotary.
 

 
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