To effectively stop the spread of the poliovirus, quick action is required.
When it comes to polio outbreaks, time is of the essence. It is vital to act quickly within a limited time frame. In February, Malawi considered a public health emergency after discovering its first case of polio virus type 1 (WPV1) in 30 years. The country jumped into action, spearheading a multi-country immunization campaign with the goal of reaching over twenty-three million children in the sub-region with bifunctional oral polio vaccine (bOPV). After the virus disabled a kid on its own soil, neighboring Mozambique, which was part of the same operation, proclaimed its own crisis three months later. The country is stepping up its efforts to safeguard its children.
The GPEI has praised the swift measures of the countries of south-eastern Africa as examples of what needs to be done to successfully stop the spread of the highly contagious poliovirus.
“Indeed, Malawi has moved rapidly; we haven’t had any new WPV1 detections in the country,” stated Dr. Modjirom Ndoutabe, WHO AFRO’s Polio Programme Coordinator a.i. “It’s critical that additional promotional round of are carried out correctly and reach all aimed children in Malawi and its bordering nations to boost immunity, and we’re continuing to work with government agencies to sustain highly elevated surveillance responsiveness so that we can intimately track this virus throughout this epizootic period,” he added.
“What we’ve observed in Malawi and Mozambique, as well as Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, following their detections, is positive. The need of acting quickly to recognize and communicate a public health hazard, as well as to execute effective vaccination campaigns to protect kids, cannot be overstated “Aidan O’Leary, Director of the Global Health Organization’s polio eradication program, stated.
The African Region, as well as the rest of the world, is not immune to wild poliovirus. cVDPV (circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus) outbreaks continue to be a serious hazard to governments. Transmission of the most common type of these epidemics, cVDPV2, has been prevented in the variety of nations that have implemented the tool, thanks to the deployment of a new vaccination to combat it. In addition, a large number of outbreaks have lately been resolved as a result of the usage of the classic monovalent oral polio vaccination type 2 (mOPV2).
“The WHO African Region’s Rapid Reaction Team (for polio) systematically revisited polio outbreaks from the previous two years, looking at the time since the last virus detections in afflicted countries, monitoring quality indicators, immunization response quality, and population immunity profiles. I am glad to report that 32 different cVDPV outbreaks in the Area have been certified closed throughout 13 African countries “Dr. Ndoutabe stated.
“The work that has gone into reaching the elevated amounts of vaccination coverage required to stop transmission, as well as initiatives to improve disease surveillance, has resulted in the closing of these cVDPV outbreaks. It also demonstrates the efficacy of the vaccinations we need to complete the task “O’Leary stated. “Regardless of the tool employed, GPEI advises all countries afflicted by poliovirus to act quickly and in accordance with GPEI’s SOPs for health emergencies. Despite the hurdles, we must guarantee that our activities are consistent with the health crisis that is polio “He stated it once again.
WPV1 was prevalent in epidemic Pakistan in 2019 and 2020, and both viruses discovered in Malawi and Mozambique are related to it. Though wild poliovirus incidences are declining, they are already at their lowest point in history, the new detections highlight the threat of importation as well as the necessity to complete the task.