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Tracking Progress Toward Global Polio Eradication, 2010–2011

May 2, 2012 Comments off

Tracking Progress Toward Global Polio Eradication, 2010–2011
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

In January 2012, polio eradication was declared a “programmatic emergency for global public health” by the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO) (1). Since the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) began in 1988 (2), progress has been tracked by surveillance of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) cases and testing of linked stool specimens for polioviruses (PVs) in WHO-accredited Global Polio Laboratory Network (GPLN) laboratories, complemented by sewage testing (environmental surveillance) in selected areas. Monitoring AFP surveillance quality at national and subnational administrative levels using standard performance indicators identifies potential gaps where PV circulation might go undetected; monitoring specimen transport and laboratory reporting timeliness identifies areas where reporting delays could lead to late response, permitting ongoing transmission. This report provides an assessment of 2010–2011 performance indicators for AFP surveillance at national and subnational levels in polio-affected countries and laboratory reporting at the regional level, updated from 2009–2010 (3). Overall, 16 (62%) of 26 countries with circulating wild PV (WPV) met national AFP surveillance indicator targets during both 2010 and 2011. All three countries with reestablished WPV transmission and 16 of 19 countries with WPV outbreaks had substantial proportions (>20%) of their respective populations living in areas with underperforming surveillance during 2010 or 2011. Targets for timely reporting of PV isolation and type characterization results were met in three of six WHO regions in 2010 and five regions in 2011. To achieve polio eradication, efforts are needed to improve AFP surveillance and laboratory performance.

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