Global polio eradication initiative applauds WHO African area for wild polio-free certification

Today, the Africa Regional Certification Commission licensed the WHO African Region as wild polio-free after 4 years and not using a case. With this historic milestone, 5 of the six WHO areas – representing over 90% of the world’s inhabitants
– are actually freed from the wild poliovirus, transferring the world nearer to attaining international polio eradication.

Only two international locations worldwide proceed to see wild poliovirus transmission: Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) congratulates the nationwide governments of the 47 international locations within the WHO African Region for at this time’s achievement.

“Ending wild polio virus in Africa is one of the greatest public health achievements of our time and provides powerful inspiration for all of us to finish the job of eradicating polio globally,” mentioned WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom
Ghebreyesus. “I thank and congratulate the governments, health workers, community volunteers, traditional and religious leaders and parents across the region who have worked together to kick wild polio out of Africa.”

Strong management and innovation had been instrumental in stopping the wild poliovirus within the area. Countries efficiently coordinated their efforts to beat main challenges to immunizing youngsters, resembling excessive ranges of inhabitants motion, battle
and insecurity limiting entry to well being companies, and the virus’s means to unfold rapidly and journey throughout borders.

In addition, the continued generosity and shared dedication of donors – together with governments, the non-public sector, multilateral establishments and philanthropic organizations – to attaining a polio-free world helped construct the infrastructure
that enabled the African area to succeed in extra youngsters than ever earlier than with polio vaccines and defeat wild polio. 

“During a challenging year for global health, the certification of the African region as wild poliovirus-free is a sign of hope and progress that shows what can be accomplished through collaboration and perseverance,” mentioned Rotary International
President Holger Knaack. “Since 1996, when Nelson Mandela joined with Rotary, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, and governments of the African area we’ve achieved one thing exceptional. Today’s milestone tells us that polio
eradication is feasible, so long as the world stays dedicated to ending the job. Let us work collectively to harness our collective energies to beat the remaining challenges and fulfil our promise of a polio-free world.”

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The assets and experience used to get rid of wild polio have considerably contributed to Africa’s public well being and outbreak response methods. The polio programme supplies far-reaching well being advantages to native communities, from supporting the
African area’s response to COVID-19 to bolstering routine immunization towards different vaccine-preventable illnesses.

While this can be a exceptional milestone, we should not grow to be complacent. Continued dedication to strengthening immunization and well being methods within the African area is important to guard progress towards wild polio and to sort out the unfold of kind 2 circulating
vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV2), which is current in 16 international locations within the area. Pockets of low immunity imply such strains proceed to pose a risk and the chance is magnified by interruptions in vaccination because of COVID-19, which have left communities
extra weak to cVDPV2 outbreaks.

The GPEI calls on international locations and donors to stay vigilant towards all types of polio. Until each pressure is eradicated worldwide, the unimaginable progress made towards polio globally might be in danger.

The WHO African Region’s success towards wild polio has proven the world that progress towards among the greatest international well being challenges is feasible. The GPEI is grateful for each particular person, accomplice, donor and nation who helped result in this
unimaginable achievement.

 

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Note for editors:

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative is a public-private partnership led by nationwide governments with six core companions – the World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), UNICEF,
the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

For info and multimedia content material on the WHO African Region’s efforts to eradicate wild polio, please go to africakicksoutwildpolio.com. For extra info on the worldwide effort to finish
polio, go to polioeradication.org

 

 

Sources By WHO