According to ARCC, vaccination remains the only way to ensure that polio does not take hold in Africa.
Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images
- In Africa so far this year, there have been more than 300 confirmed cases of polio and nearly 250 detections in wastewater samples.
- The Africa Regional Certification Commission for Polio Eradication said that only when every child was vaccinated would polio eradication be possible.
- Several southern African countries have been put on notice.
In the African region in 2023 so far, there have been more
than 300 confirmed cases of polio and nearly 250 detections in wastewater
samples, despite the World Health Organisation (WHO) in August marking one year
since the last confirmed detection of wild poliovirus type 1.
As such, the Africa Regional Certification Commission for
Polio Eradication (ARCC) has advised Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania,
Zambia, and Zimbabwe to address gaps in polio immunity in order to prevent
The guidance follows a week of intensive deliberations on
how to respond to polio epidemics in the region held in Maputo, Mozambique,
from 31 October 2023 to 3 November, among partners, countries, and ARCC
Professor Rose Leke, chair of ARCC, said there should be
urgency in stepping up efforts “regarding the implementation of quality
and timely supplementary immunisation activities (SIAs) as well as
surveillance, to increase population immunity and ensure early detection of any
There remain concerns about the risk of polio type 1
spreading in Madagascar, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Lake
Chad Basin, across the Sahel, and the Horn of Africa because of low
“Reluctance to vaccination in population pockets in
some African countries continues to hamper eradication efforts,” ARCC said
in a statement, adding that “until every child is vaccinated against
polio, every country remains at risk of an outbreak.”
ARCC noted the difficulties in Nigeria, where polio type 2
is persistent, because of logistical challenges in the vaccination process.
ARCC said in its statement:
This (type 2) is linked to ongoing delays in the introduction of the second dose of the inactivated polio vaccine, gaps in coverage in underserved populations, and the challenges in implementing high-quality supplementary immunisation activities in areas with persistent circulation.
ARCC also advised countries to use geographic information
systems to “improve the quality of surveillance and outbreak response
while considering challenges in accessibility to services, including
The African region is certified as being free of native wild
poliovirus by the ARCC, an independent organisation that was founded in 1998.
In order to make sure that nations are following the
standards established for the worldwide certification of wild poliovirus, it
keeps assessing the veracity of the data in documents provided by national
The purpose of the ARCC’s twice-yearly meetings is to assess
the progress that has been made in the annual certification updates of chosen
nations regarding their efforts to eradicate polio in all 47 of the WHO’s
African member states.
The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced through the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained herein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.
Source link : https://www.news24.com/news24/africa/news/polio-risk-several-southern-african-countries-put-on-notice-that-they-risk-outbreaks-20231103
Publish date : 2023-11-03 22:42:20