A Move Closer to Total Disappearance of Polio

Three years have passed since a case of Type 3 wild polio virus has been detected in the world, which means that particular viral subtype has most likely disappeared forever, the World Health Organization announced this month.
Its demise could speed up the drive to eliminate polio, which has gone on for 27 years and now costs more than $1 billion a year.
The last known Type 3 polio case was an 11-month-old boy in northern Nigeria who became paralyzed on Nov. 10, 2012.

By tracing cellphones, Pakistan makes inroads in war against polio

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN — In a surprising turnaround, Pakistan appears to be finally getting a handle on its polio epidemic, thanks to unorthodox tactics such as tracking residents’ cellphones.
The 85 percent decline in new cases this year is boosting confidence that Pakistani officials are on pace to stop the spread of the virus here, perhaps as early as next year. If Pakistan can achieve that goal, the world will take a major step toward becoming polio-free.

Nigeria's polio-free gift to Africa

Disease eradication entails the total stopping of the transmission of an infectious disease, reducing the prevalence of the disease to zero. To date, only one disease — smallpox — has been successfully eradicated. The next disease set for eradication is poliomyelitis, popularly known as polio.

Polio Oversight Board Meeting 25 September

The attached document is a letter from CDC Director Tom Frieden on the Polio Oversight Board September Meeting in New York City. The text below is taken from the document.


Namibia to Introduce New Polio Vaccine in 2016

A much safer polio vaccine will be introduced to Namibia in April next year when the country transitions from trivalent live oral poliomyelitis vaccine (ToPV) to bivalent oral polio vaccine (BoPV), the Ministry of Health and Social Services said this week.
Marjorie van Wyk, the Acting Deputy Director for the Family Health Division in the Ministry of Health and Social Services, explained that the introduction of the new vaccine means the strains of polio type two will not be present in the new vaccine, thus making it safer.

Polio eradicated in all but two countries

Just two countries remain affected by the polio epidemic, the WHO says. But even where the disease is known to have been eradicated, further suffering occurs due to something known as post-polio syndrome.


On World Polio Day, UNICEF cites ‘dramatic’ progress against virus, urges efforts towards zero cases

Never before in the history of polio have so few children in so few countries contracted the crippling virus, but a senior United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) official has vowed “we cannot rest until the number of cases is zero.”
“Progress to end polio is real and dramatic, with now just two countries in the world where the wild poliovirus has never been interrupted: Afghanistan and Pakistan,” said by the head of the Polio Unit at UNICEF, Peter Crowley, in a press release.

Polio on the brink of eradication

When the international community set out in 1988 to wipe polio off the face of the earth, it was an audacious move. Only once before — with the eradication of smallpox in 1974 — had humankind managed to pull off such a feat.
And yet, country by country, region by region, there has been tremendous progress in the fight against polio. Cases are down by 99.9 percent. Only two countries still have circulating wild polio virus — Afghanistan and Pakistan — and we’re seeing fewer and fewer cases there too.
How did we get this far?

How the “polio surge” in Nigeria helped stop Ebola

CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on how the polio eradication effort was an important tool in fighting the outbreak
One of the scariest moments of last year’s Ebola outbreak for Susan Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, was when Ebola arrived, by way of a business traveler, in Lagos. That the devastating and highly infectious disease had surfaced in the Nigerian megacity—an international hub and home to some 20 million people—posed any number of troubling scenarios.

A no-brainer: How to transition from polio eradication to measles eradication

Why stop with eradicating polio when the eradication of measles is within our grasp? During more than 25 years of operations, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative has mobilized and trained millions of volunteers, social mobilizers, and health workers; accessed households untouched by other health initiatives; mapped and brought health interventions to chronically neglected communities; and established a standardized, real-time global surveillance and response capacity.