Three additional wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) cases were reported in Pakistan during the last week, according to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
Cases were confirmed in Lahore district in Punjab province (2) and one from Bannu district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The cases have onset of paralysis on 2, 17 and 19 April 2019, respectively.
This brings Pakistan’s total WPV1 cases to 11 this year and 18 globally (Afghanistan has 7).
In addition, Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance reported this week that after the introduction of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) into Zimbabwe and Mongolia’s routine immunization programs with Gavi’s support, every country worldwide, including all 73 Gavi-supported countries, have now introduced the vaccine which protects children against the disease.
“The commitment displayed by countries to introduce this vaccine so rapidly has been nothing short of remarkable,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “This is an unequalled achievement, which took the combined efforts of the global health community, governments and thousands of health workers across the globe. It is a global milestone in the fight against polio and we should all be proud of this effort, which moves us closer to a polio-free world.”
“Introducing IPV into routine immunisation programmes is a critical milestone on our journey towards a polio-free world,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization and Chair of the GPEI Polio Oversight Board. “It’s also vital that we use the infrastructure that has built up around polio immunisation programmes to ensure that all children receive other nationally-recommended vaccines. Achieving universal health coverage means making sure that all children, rich and poor, receive the same protection from vaccine-preventable diseases.”
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