Dear polio eradication supporter,
The significance of International Women's Day – a moment to recognize and empower the strong women who make the world turn – is not lost on the polio programme. Across the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) on 8 March, partners celebrated the women working tirelessly towards eradication in Afghanistan and worldwide, and the programme announced José Manuel Albares, Minister of Foreign Affairs in Spain, as a new Gender Champion for Polio Eradication.
Now, the GPEI is turning to its next milestone. On 26 April, the programme will launch the new investment case for the GPEI’s Strategy: Delivering on a Promise. This one-hour, virtual event, “Investing in the Promise of a Polio-free World”, will feature live remarks from WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell, as well as the stories of health workers and Ministers of Health working with the polio programme around the world. Please register here to learn more about the financial and political support needed to end polio for good.
How to Stop a Polio Outbreak
After three decades without a case of wild poliovirus in Malawi, the recent detection of a case in the country’s capital kicked off a swift and urgent effort to stop the spread before further infection. In response to the case – linked to a strain originating in Pakistan, where wild polio remains endemic – Malawi’s Ministry of Health coordinated with specialized teams from the GPEI as well as neighboring governments to improve disease surveillance, mobilize communities and launch a regional immunization campaign to protect over 20 million children with lifesaving polio vaccines.
Recognizing the Women Ending Polio in Pakistan
The polio programme celebrated International Women’s Day around the world, including in Pakistan. Women in Pakistan are vital to ensuring that every last child receives a polio vaccine, oftentimes entering households where men cannot. In this inspiring video, hear the stories of the women in Pakistan – from Rotarians to coordinators to surveillance officers to politicians – who are leading the country to a polio-free future.
Bowling Polio out of Pakistan
Sports has always been a driving force for polio eradication advocacy from “Kicking Polio Out of Africa” – a football-themed campaign spearheaded by Nelson Mandela – to “Bowling Polio Out of Pakistan” – a phrase leveraging the power of cricket. This past month, a test match between Australia and Pakistan was dedicated to raising awareness for polio eradication. Read how players, fans and league executives honored polio workers and survivors and built support for polio eradication on the pitch.
POLIO IN NUMBERS
Wild Poliovirus in 2022 (2021)*
Global Total: 1 (2)
Circulating Vaccine Derived Poliovirus in 2022 (2021)*
Global Total: 20 (43)
*Data as of 30 March 2022. Numbers in brackets represent data at this time in 2021.
Breakdown by country
Polio this week
POLIO IN THE NEWS
POLITICO: Polio’s back. Blame Covid. (Joanne Kenen, 29 March 2022)
NNN News Nigeria: Eradicating polio would eradicate so much tragedy (Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, 21 March 2022)
The New York Times: Five African nations will begin mass polio vaccination campaigns amid the pandemic (Abdi Latif Dahir, 19 March 2022)
Revised containment guidance (GAPIII) available for public consultation
On recommendation from the Containment Advisory Group (CAG), and through wide engagement of stakeholders, WHO’s Global Action Plan for Poliovirus Containment (GAPIII, 2015) has been revised. Following a period of critical review by the CAG, the document draft is now available for public consultation until 1 May 2022. Revisions to the guidance have been made based on CAG recommendations, review of relevant biorisk management documents to determine alignment, scientific evidence and solicited stakeholder comments on various sections. WHO encourages feedback from containment stakeholders.
UNICEF would like to thank Rotary International for its generous contribution to UNICEF’s global polio eradication efforts, specifically:
- US$ 4 120 718 to Afghanistan to support: Social Mobilization & Communication Activities, bOPV Procurement, Operational Costs and Technical Assistance
- US$ 12 616 000 to Pakistan to support: Social Mobilization & Communication Activities, Operational Costs, Technical Assistance
- US$ 3 532 710 to UNICEF HQ to support Global Outbreak Response Activities
UNICEF would like to thank Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for its generous contribution of US$ 2 million to support UNICEF Emergency Funds for Polio logistics.
WHO would like to thank Monaco for a €50 000 contribution which re-affirms its long-standing political and financial support to polio eradication operations worldwide.
Young cricket fans show their support for a polio-free Pakistan at a recent test match between Pakistan and Australia.
©Pakistan Polio Eradication Programme