The World Health Organization (WHO) recently renewed its commitment and reviewed its process in eliminating polio.
There are 10 weeks until health professionals around the world change from a trivalent polio vaccine to a bivalent oral polio vaccine. This globally synchronized change is a significant milestone as health professionals move forward for a world without polio.
At the meeting, the attendees discussed how Africa has gone for four months without detecting any wild or circulating poliovirus cases derived from vaccines. This is a first in history, and it is also the first time that there have not been any environmental positive samples in the area for four months.
In the last week of January, there were no new wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) cases confirmed in Afghanistan. The last patient to contract the virus had paralysis onset starting on Nov.19. The cumulative number of cases for last year stands at 19; there were 28 cases confirmed in 2014.
In Pakistan, there was one new WPV1 case confirmed in the last week of January. The patient’s paralysis began on Dec. 31. For last year, the country has reported 54 cases. In 2014, there were 306 cases confirmed.
In Central Africa, there have not been any new WPV1 cases confirmed in the last week or for 2015. In 2014, health officials detected 10 cases.
Health professionals intend to continue taking proactive measures to eliminate polio from the world health scene.