The Sudanese Ministry of Health announced nine new cases of polio type 2 yesterday, present in seven states in the country.
The highest alert has been raised by the Ministry of Health. A detailed report of the cases of vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) which have appeared recently in the country was presented to the Council of Ministers yesterday. It has requested provision of necessary support to confront the infectious disease.
The Ministry will hold a meeting with state governors to provide material and logistical support for an immunisation programme and other interventions. Other interventions include actively surveying areas where there are outbreaks and investigating cases of acute flaccid paralysis.
Appeals have been launched to specialised medical societies, especially the Paediatric Association, to report on similar cases and to assist the Ministry in any way they can.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan, at least 5.2 million children under age 5 live in the affected states and require urgent vaccination.
Ethiopia, Chad, and the Central African Republic have reported vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) cases this year. Chad has reported 62 cVDPV2 cases in 2020. Across the African continent, 133 type 2 cases in 14 countries have been reported in 2020, significantly higher than 47 this time last year.
Sudan’s Ministry of Health stressed on August 9, after the first two cases of polio were confirmed, that the current situation requires concerted efforts at all levels to contain the epidemic.
Polio cases are surging in many countries, and models paint a “pretty bleak picture” if campaigns don’t restart soon, said Michel Zaffran, Director of the Polio Eradication Programme at the World Health Organization, last month: “For now, countries will only be responding to outbreaks; preventive campaigns remain on hold.”
In “urgent” recommendations in late May, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative said it expected circulation of polioviruses “to increase exponentially during the upcoming high season,” raising the possibility of “uncontrolled multi-country outbreaks.”
The decades-long campaign to eradicate polio globally was already suffering major setbacks in 2019, before the declaration of Covid-19 as a global pandemic.
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