Progress in polio eradication efforts in Pakistan
On 30-31 March, 2017, the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Consultation on Polio Eradication in Pakistan convened in Islamabad to review the current epidemiology, opportunities as well as the remaining challenges to eradicate remaining strains of transmission for the rest of the year. The Pakistan Polio Eradication Initiative (PEI) has made enormous progress towards polio eradication which has seen the number of children paralyzed by the polio virus decrease from 306 in 2014 to only 2 in 2017. The team of experts urged the Government of Pakistan to focus on reducing the number of unimmunized children in the hotspots and the children on the move, if they are to achieve the magical goal of zero cases. The TAG team also urged the PEI programme to further strengthen the good coordination with Afghanistan which reported 3 cases of Wild Polio Virus (WPV) as of 21 February 2017.
Globally, there are 5 reported cases of Wild Polio Virus (WPV) and are all from the Polio endemic countries which include Afghanistan and Pakistan. Whereas Nigeria is an endemic country, it reported zero (0) cases of both Wild Polio Virus (WPV) and Circulating vaccine derived Poliovirus (cVDPV) as of 5 April, 2017. However, Nigeria continues to implement emergency outbreak response to the detected WPV1 strain and circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) strains reported in 2016.This is done in collaboration with neighboring countries particularly Lake Chad sub-region, northern Cameroon, parts of Central African Republic, Chad and southern Niger.