Report from the Seventeenth Meeting Global Commission for the Certification of the Eradication of Poliomyelitis
The Global Commission for the Certification of Poliomyelitis Eradication (GCCPE/GCC) met in February 2018. It noted that although no WPV paralytic cases had been reported in Pakistan since November 2017 and fewer cases were being reported from Afghanistan for comparable periods in earlier years, considerable numbers of positive environmental samples were being reported from both countries implying that there was still significant ongoing transmission. This circulation of WPVs has implications for the commencement and conclusion of the process of certification of interruption of transmission. The GCC has previously asked for development of a risk assessment tool that can be used by National Certification Committees and Regional Certification Commissions allowing the GCC to compare risks and their mitigation between countries and across Regions. The GCC noted the progress being made with this tool and hopes that it will be introduced shortly in all Regions. The GCC considered the possibility that there may still be cVDPV outbreaks in the approach to certification and agreed conditions for the process of certification in such circumstances. The GCC also reviewed the surveillance standards that it will require countries to fulfil according to the systems in place (AFP, environmental and enterovirus surveillance or combinations of these). The GCC’s Terms of Reference were reviewed since it had been many years since this was last done. The GCC has previously recommended that countries should undertake outbreak simulation exercises and proposed that the GCC should undertake a certification exercise. This could be done using the example of certification of WPV3 eradication. Finally, the GCC asked for a time line for its activities to be presented regularly and updated as circumstances on the interruption of transmission and containment change.