Polio outbreak in Sudan successfully stopped and declared closed

Polio outbreak in Sudan successfully stopped and declared closed
Polio outbreak in Sudan successfully stopped and declared closed
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According to experts from WHO, UNICEF and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the outbreak of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) in Sudan has been successfully stopped.

Declared in 15 out of 18 states, the outbreak was caused by a strain of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV2) imported from Chad, paralyzing 58 children.

Today’s announcement comes after virtual and national reviews of Sudan’s response to the outbreak and its surveillance system by a team of experts in polio eradication, global public health, epidemiology and in vaccine management. The final evaluation of the outbreak response, held from July 24 to August 1, 2022, included interviews and reviews of reports and records with surveillance and immunization staff at the state, locality and health facilities. The findings of the Outbreak Response Assessment, coupled with the absence of cVDPV2 virus for more than 18 months in the presence of sustained high-quality poliovirus surveillance, conclude that the cVDPV2 outbreak can now be declared closed. .

“The Federal Ministry of Health declared the cVDPV2 outbreak during a challenging time of multiple emergencies, beginning with the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Economic downturn and political instability were additional challenges early in the outbreak. The Federal Ministry of Health worked with partners and implemented a strong outbreak response plan that included 2 rounds of high quality campaigns. Sudan is an example of how an early, rapid and coordinated response can stop an outbreak,” said Dr Haitham Muhammad Ibrahim Awad Allah, Federal Minister of Health.

“The end of this epidemic is a testament to the skill and diligence of health workers and public health officials in Sudan, as well as the extraordinary commitment of the Sudanese government demonstrated by the allocation of significant national financial resources to the response, during one of the most difficult times. periods of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean.

Supported by UNICEF and WHO, the Federal Ministry of Health successfully organized 2 national vaccination campaigns targeting children under 5 to contain the spread of poliovirus, reaching over 95% of the target population. Community engagement and social mobilization efforts have been intensified to ensure that information about the dangers of the disease and the need to vaccinate every eligible child reaches every household.

“Two nationwide campaigns using monovalent oral polio vaccine type 2 (mOPV2) covered all 18 states in November 2020 and January 2021, reaching more than 8 million children under the age of 5 in each of the 2 cycles. In each location, vaccinators took COVID-19 precautions, including using hand sanitizer and wearing masks. Despite the end of the epidemic, the country remains vigilant for a possible importation of poliovirus,” said Dr Nima Saeed Abid, WHO Representative in Sudan.

“The end of the polio epidemic is a remarkable achievement for the children of Sudan. Community engagement has been at the heart of efforts to turn vaccines into vaccines for more than 8 million children. This success is a testament to the commitment of health workers, especially women, who continue to work selflessly and passionately to deliver vaccines. As we celebrate this achievement and the strong partnerships that made it possible, we must remain vigilant to protect Sudan from future outbreaks; there is no room for complacency,” said Mandeep O’Brien, UNICEF Representative in Sudan. “In addition to sensitive surveillance, better coverage of routine immunizations is important to protect children against polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases,” she continued.

Throughout the Eastern Mediterranean Region, cVDPV2 cases have increased in recent years, and the movement of people across borders highlights the risk of importation across and beyond the Region. The cVDPV2 strain that led to 58 cases in Sudan was detected in 8 neighboring countries before and after the outbreak in Sudan. While the international spread is a reminder that poliomyelitis, wherever found, poses a risk to children everywhere, the end of the outbreak in Sudan shows what can be achieved with strong national commitment and advocacy campaigns. high-quality immunization, leadership on the ground, sensitive surveillance measures and much-needed vaccines.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the World Health Organization Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean.

This press release was issued by APO. Content is not vetted by the African Business editorial team and none of the content has been checked or validated by our editorial teams, proofreaders or fact checkers. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

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. Polio outbreak Sudan successfully stopped declared closed

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