Polio eradication initiative releases 2012 polio report

The Global Eradication Initiative recently released a report and emergency action plan for polio in the endemic countries of Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.

As of September, Afghanistan and Pakistan experienced a decline in polio cases in 2012 compared to an unexpected rise in cases in 2011. Nigeria dealt with a significant increase in the number of polio cases in 2012.

There were 17 polio cases in Afghanistan through September compared with 27 cases during the same period in 2011. Pakistan reported 35 cases through September, a decline from 89 cases the previous year during that time period. Nigeria's number of cases significantly increased to 88 through September from 30 cases during the same period the previous year.

Polio cases in traditional endemic zones in Afghanistan and Pakistan, which are neighboring countries, could pose danger to populations living in the countries' polio-free areas.

The Global Eradication Initiative said that its new emergency approach was starting to take effect in Pakistan. It cited a decline in cases over 2011 and improved coverage in some of the worst-performing areas of Quetta and Karachi.

According to the report, Nigeria is the only place in the world with the circulation of all three polio serotypes. Polio from northern Nigeria is particularly dangerous because it tends to spread to Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and other west African nations.