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Polio News November 2020

 
November 2020
POLIO NEWS
Dear Moderator,
On the heels of World Polio Day, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) unveiled major developments this month to tackle the threat posed by polio. UNICEF and WHO issued an emergency call to halt outbreaks and vaccinate millions of children left unprotected against measles and polio during the COVID-19 pandemic. Leaders at the World Health Assembly (WHA) expressed their support for raising immunization levels and urged member states to remain committed to a polio-free world. During the WHA week, WHO issued an Emergency Use Listing for nOPV2, a significant step forward in our work to stop cVDPV2 outbreaks. Meanwhile, COVID-19-safe polio vaccination campaigns went ahead in countries including Chad, Iraq and Sudan.
UNICEF and WHO call for action on polio and measles
 
Issuing an emergency appeal for funding, GPEI partners UNICEF and WHO called for global action to tackle the polio and measles immunity gaps that have emerged due to pandemic-related disruptions. US$ 400 million is urgently needed to reach millions of under-immunized children with polio vaccines and avert an impending crisis of disease outbreaks. [More]
International solidarity needed to end polio
©WHO/C. Black
At this month’s World Health Assembly, global health leaders convened virtually, congratulating the WHO African Region on achieving wild polio-free certification and recognizing COVID-19’s impact on the eradication effort. In line with the emergency call to action, attendees urged member states to prioritise polio eradication funding as they rebuild their immunization programmes. [More]
Debunking myths and delivering vaccines
©WHO Somalia/Ismail Taxta/Ildoog
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more crucial than ever for community mobilizers like Fahima in Somalia to combat misinformation and educate as many parents as possible on the importance of vaccinations. See how Fahima’s tireless efforts helped the programme reach more than a million Somali children under the age of five with polio vaccines during October. [More]
 
POLIO IN NUMBERS
 
Wild poliovirus in 2020 (2019)*
Global Total:   137 (112)

Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus in 2020 (2019)*
Global Total: 751 (119) 

*Data as of 24 November 2020. Numbers in brackets represent data at this time in 2019.
 
Breakdown by country 
 
POLIO IN THE NEWS
Devex Opinion: COVID-19 should not derail polio eradication efforts

The Guardian UN urges resumption of mass measles and polio vaccinations

The Washington Post The pandemic is triggering another disaster: Untreated diseases
 
DONOR UPDATES
WHO thanks Turkey for their support of the emergency call to action during the World Health Assembly polio session, during which they announced a contribution of US$ 60 000. This funding will help support outbreak response in Africa.

WHO thanks Spain for their exceptional contribution of €100 000 to polio eradication efforts. Underlining Spain’s commitment to ending polio, in October, Arancha González Laya, Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of Spain, accepted an invitation to become a Polio Gender Champion.

WHO and UNICEF are grateful to Rotary International for their ongoing support of global polio eradication. During the International Polio Plus Committee meeting in October 2020, Rotary International provided US$ 32 521 387 to WHO for surveillance activities in the African and Eastern Mediterranean Regions, supplementary immunization activities in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the mOPV2 stockpile, research activities and Polio Research Committee operations. Rotary International provided US$ 17.6 million to UNICEF to help fund priority social mobilization and community engagement activities in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria, essential staff positions to support polio eradication activities in Nigeria, community-based vaccination activities in Pakistan and to support the implementation of global outbreak response activities.

WHO extends gratitude to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for providing US$ 254 232 for the GPEI Management Review, US$ 29 978 587 for OPV vaccine supply and US$ 41 300 000 in supplemental funding for vaccine stockpile maintenance. UNICEF thanks the Foundation for their contribution of US$ 7.2 million for outbreak response activities and US$ 4.7 million for staff support.
VIDEO OF THE MONTH
COVID-19 has had a massive impact on health services, including immunization services. As a result, children in high-risk areas have become more vulnerable to diseases such as polio and measles. Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director of WHO’s Heath Emergencies Programme, explains why we must take urgent action. [video]
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