WHO / POLIO AFRICA

21-Aug-2019 00:02:05
Africa today reached a milestone threshold, three years with no case of wild poliovirus detected. This three-year landmark sets in motion a comprehensive evaluation process by the Africa Regional Certification Commission to determine if the entire WHO African Region of 47 countries indeed can be declared to have eradicated wild poliovirus. WHO
Size
Format
Acquire
N/A
Hi-Res formats
DESCRIPTION
STORY: WHO / POLIO AFRICA
TRT: 02:05
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 16 AUGUST 2019, BRAZZAVILE, REPUBLIC OF CONGO / AUGUST 2019, VARIOUS LOCATIONS, NIGERIA
SHOTLIST
AUGUST 2019, VARIOUS LOCATIONS, NIGERIA

1. Wide shot, children running in the streets
2. Various shots, WHO health workers walking through neighbourhood
3. Various shots, child

16 AUGUST 2019, BRAZZAVILE, REPUBLIC OF CONGO

4. SOUNDBITE (English) Matshidiso Moeti, Regional Director for Africa (AFRO), World Health Organization (WHO):
“The significance of this milestone is that it is five years since a whole WHO region was certified to have eradicated polio. So, it is major. “

AUGUST 2019, VARIOUS LOCATIONS, NIGERIA

5. Various shots, people signing up for polio vaccination campaign
6. Various shots, children receiving polio vaccine

16 AUGUST 2019, BRAZZAVILE, REPUBLIC OF CONGO

7. SOUNDBITE (English) Matshidiso Moeti, Regional Director for Africa (AFRO), World Health Organization (WHO):
“We absolutely cannot relax having reached this milestone because we have to consolidate this achievement. This means that the surveillance systems in countries have to be ramped up so that they are able to absolutely detect even the slightest risk of polio remerging.”

AUGUST 2019, VARIOUS LOCATIONS, NIGERIA

8. Various shots, polio vaccination campaign
STORYLINE
Africa today (21 Aug) reached a milestone threshold, three years with no case of wild poliovirus detected. This three-year landmark sets in motion a comprehensive evaluation process by the Africa Regional Certification Commission to determine if the entire WHO African Region of 47 countries indeed can be declared to have eradicated wild poliovirus.

Certification that the WHO African Region is free of wild polio is expected in early 2020.

If the evaluation process proves the wild virus is gone, Africa will join four of the WHO regions – the Americas, the Western Pacific, Europe and South-East Asia – in holding this distinction. It will leave only the WHO Eastern Mediterranean region still working to stop the virus.

Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, highlighted the significance of this milestone.

SOUNDBITE (English) Matshidiso Moeti, Regional Director for Africa (AFRO), World Health Organization (WHO):
“The significance of this milestone is that it is five years since a whole WHO region was certified to have eradicated polio. So, it is major. “

If the evaluation process proves the wild virus is gone, Africa will join four of the WHO regions – the Americas, the Western Pacific, Europe and South-East Asia – in holding this distinction. It will leave only the WHO Eastern Mediterranean region still working to stop the virus.

Dr Moeti praised the continent’s resilience and strong commitment to stopping the virus in overcoming the tough challenges.

SOUNDBITE (English) Matshidiso Moeti, Regional Director for Africa (AFRO), World Health Organization (WHO):
“We absolutely cannot relax having reached this milestone because we have to consolidate this achievement. This means that the surveillance systems in countries have to be ramped up so that they are able to absolutely detect even the slightest risk of polio remerging.”

Today’s acclaim came buttressed with caution for lingering challenges to immunization coverage that are needed to protect communities from the rare non-wild polio strains that can emerge when a population is not thoroughly immunized.

Reaching every last child with lifesaving vaccines as well as strengthening surveillance and routine immunization across the region will be essential to sustain the progress against wild polio and other strains.

Since the last wild polio case was detected on 21 August 2016 in Nigeria, for example, the Government has organized more than a dozen supplementary immunization campaigns with oral polio vaccine, worked on strengthening routine immunization, improved its polio surveillance networks and deployed innovative strategies (market vaccination, cross-border points and outreach to nomad populations) to reach more children with polio vaccines.
Category
Geographic Subjects
Source
Alternate Title
unifeed190821c