News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


WHO Western Pacific Region’s polio-free status confirmed

Oversight body confirms WHO Western Pacific Region’s polio-free status

Beijing, 29 November 2012 - An independent oversight body meeting here has confirmed the World Health Organization (WHO) Western Pacific Region's polio-free status following China's successful control of the outbreak last year in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

“We are here again after viruses came over the mountains from Pakistan into Xinjiang Province in 2011, and our task is to assess the impact of that importation on the Region’s overall polio-free status and China’s response,” said Professor Anthony Adams, Chairman of the Regional Commission for the Certification of Poliomyelitis Eradication. "At our meeting last November in Hanoi, we already expressed our admiration for the way China had responded to this importation and recommended that it be an example to the rest of the world on how to respond to similar emergencies. We fully reiterate this view today.”

The Western Pacific Region, home to more than one fourth of the world's population, has been certified as polio-free since 2000. The 2011 outbreak, which China quickly stopped with technical assistance from WHO and other partners, underscores that no place is safe until the crippling and fatal disease is eradicated from the countries where it remains endemic: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.

Global incidence of the disease is at an all-time low. Nevertheless, Dr Shin Young-soo, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific, says that "almost is not good enough" with the poliovirus.

"Although we are closer than ever to stopping wild poliovirus transmission globally and to achieving the ultimate benefit of the huge investments we have made, we must press for complete eradication, while the political commitment to end this dreadful disease is strong,” says Dr Shin.

He commended the countries, experts and partners at the meeting for their steadfast commitment to the vision of a world free of polio and for helping energize the WHO Expanded Programme on Immunization in the Region.

“China’s all-out response to the polio outbreak is an inspiration to all countries in the Western Pacific to redouble efforts to have high-quality surveillance and immunization in place,” he confirmed. “It is encouraging to those places that still have polio that the right commitment, coordination and accountability will finally conquer this disease.”

The meeting took place on 28–29 November. Participants include representatives from national certification committees, senior national and provincial health experts from China, immunization advisors and representatives from key partner organizations. Dr Yu Jingjin, Director-General, Bureau of Disease Control at the Ministry of Health, welcomed them on behalf of the Government of China.

The WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific helps Member States remain polio-free by supporting efforts to strengthen poliovirus surveillance and by assisting with coordinating and enhancing immunization systems. The only way to prevent polio is by immunization, so maintaining high vaccination coverage is essential.

To retain its polio-free certification, the Western Pacific had to demonstrate that there had been no further polio cases in the Region for at least the past 12 months.

Related links:

• Health topic: Poliomyelitis: http://www.wpro.who.int/topics/poliomyelitis/en/
• China—One year polio-free: http://www.wpro.who.int/immunization/news/china_1yr_polio_free/en/index.html
• China—Another milestone achieved towards regaining polio-free status: http://www.wpro.who.int/immunization/news/chn_another_milestone_polio_free/en/index.html

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Anniversaries: Vivid Memories Four Years After Christchurch Quake

Four years ago, an earthquake that would change the lives of thousands shook Christchurch at 12.51 p.m. More>>

ALSO:

Environment 'n' Conservation: Slash Meets Tāne The Tuatara

Rock and Roll superstar and former Guns 'n' Roses guitarist Slash visited Zealandia Ecosanctuary along with collaborating band Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. More>>

Foo Fighters: Exclusive Show In Support Of Music Foundation

Frontier Touring has today announced that the Foo Fighters will play a last minute intimate and exclusive benefit show at the Auckland Town Hall this Friday February 20 with all profits going to The New Zealand Music Foundation. More>>

ALSO:

Canterbury Quakes: Feedback Sought On Short-Listed Memorial Designs

Six short-listed designs for the Canterbury Earthquake Memorial have been released for public input... The Memorial will honour the victims of Canterbury’s earthquakes and acknowledge the suffering of all those who lived through them as well as the heroism of those who participated in the rescue and recovery operations. More>>

ALSO:

Celia Lashlie: Legacy Will Live On

Social justice advocate Celia Lashlie leaves a legacy that will continue to have a positive impact on the lives of New Zealanders for years to come, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Celia was a powerful voice for reason, sense and compassion. Her work, particularly with teenage boys, was ground-breaking." More>>

ALSO:

Obituary: Sad Farewell To PPTA Activist Robin Duff

Duff has been a long-time fixture of the association... Most recently Duff has been working hard to support Canterbury teachers through the quakes that devastated the region. More>>

ALSO:

Poroporoaki: Dr Apirana Tuahae Kaukapakapa Mahuika

Papa Api was a man of many great gifts and occupied a long list of roles including priest, teacher, scholar, politician, and leader. Chair of Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, and a rangatira of his iwi... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news