Dear polio eradication supporter,
The commitment of polio workers everywhere is a testament to the will of humanity to value and protect the health of every child. As we moved closer to eradication through 2016, this work continues to make a difference in the lives of children, and it remains an ultimate expression of human equity.
2016: A Year In Review
This year, we witnessed a historic achievement in the global fight against polio: the lowest case count in recorded history. The confinement of the virus to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria gives us hope that eradication is within reach. As 2017 approaches, we have the opportunity to reflect on the programme’s recent challenges and successes.
In August, polio cases were reported in Nigeria – the first found in two years – amidst a wider humanitarian crisis. A large-scale regional emergency response was immediately launched, reaching millions of children with polio vaccines to ensure that immunity was rapidly built up. Continued focus on Nigeria is critical in the upcoming year, as we work to find every virus, protect the health of children and achieve widespread vaccine coverage.
The programme also marked a remarkable global achievement earlier this year: during a two-week period in April, countries around the world orchestrated the largest and fastest globally coordinated vaccine project in history. One hundred and fifty five countries and territories switched from trivalent to bivalent oral polio vaccine, offering enhanced protection from the last two strains of polio.
And in January, India – the country once considered the toughest place on earth to stop polio – marked five years since its last case. Maintaining this incredible achievement will require sustained and heightened surveillance and ongoing vaccination efforts; in India and in all countries vulnerable to polio returning.
This year has brought us closer than ever to a polio-free world. In 2017, it will be critical that we continue building on this recent progress and maintain unwavering commitment to the end.
POLIO IN THE NEWS
Nature: Four steps to precision public health
The Guardian: The forgotten story of Jeff Hall, the footballer whose death turned tide against polio in the UK
Vox: This Thanksgiving, be grateful for these 6 ways the world is getting better
Talk Nerdy (podcast): with Dr J.Wenger from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
POLIO IN NUMBERS
Wild poliovirus in 2016
– Global Total: 34 (66)
– Global WPV1: 34 (66)
– Global WPV3: 0 (0)
Endemic: 34 (66)
– Afghanistan: 12 (17)
– Pakistan: 18 (49)
– Nigeria: 4 (0)
Data as of 13 December 2016. Numbers in brackets represent data this time in 2015.
Current case map
- WHO, UNICEF and Rotary International met with UK’s Parliamentary Under Secretary for International Development, James Wharton, to thank the United Kingdom for releasing £25 million.
- The Government of Japan recommitted its support to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) with two new contributions to UNICEF. In Pakistan, Japan will disburse US$ 4 million in support of the procurement of 3.9 million doses of the Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) that will enable UNICEF to vaccinate 3.3 million children between 4 to 23 months of age in the highest risk districts. In Afghanistan, Japan will disburse US$ 12.4 million to provide life-saving vaccines and prevent the spread of infectious diseases out of which US$ 8.5 million will be utilized for procurement of OPV. This is in addition to over US$ 75 million of funding provided since 2010 to support the Polio Eradication Initiative and Expanded Programme on Immunization.
- Through its Pakistan Assistance Programme, the United Arab Emirates disbursed an additional US$ 1.5 million to WHO for immunization campaigns in December.
- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation allocated US$ 1 million to WHO for transition planning activities.
- In response to the outbreak in Nigeria and the Lake Chad area, Ireland released €700 000 to WHO, fulfilling its 2013 Vaccine Summit Commitment of €5 million.
- Since 2008, Turkey has continued to provide an annual contribution to GPEI, complementing its strong political support within the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. In 2016, Turkey provided US$ 60 000.
- As part of its 2013 Vaccine Summit Commitment, Norway disbursed 50 million Norwegian krone to WHO as part of its annual core contribution to the Organization.
- Spain provided new funding of €20 000 to WHO for 2016-2017, renewing its long-term support to polio eradication.
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