Forty-sixth session

WPR/RC46.R7

Eradication of Poliomyelitis in the Region

         The Regional Committee,

         Recalling resolutions WPR/RC39.R15, WPR/RC41.R5, WPR/RC42.R3, WPR/RC43.R3, WPR/RC44.R4, and WPR/RC45.R5, which call for the eradication of poliomyelitis in the Western Pacific Region by the year 1995, and resolution WHA46.33, which reaffirms WHO's commitment to the eradication of poliomyelitis as one of the highest priorities for global health work;

         Having considered the progress report of the Regional Director on the eradication of poliomyelitis in the Region;*

         Pleased with the achievements made by Member States towards eradicating poliomyelitis;

         Noting the decrease in the number of reported poliomyelitis cases in 1994 to a provisional total of 699, the lowest ever reported to the Regional Office;

         Noting also, that despite greatly improved surveillance, no wild poliovirus-associated cases of poliomyelitis were reported in China, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and the northern region of Viet Nam in 1995;

         Noting further that surveillance is now approaching the high standards of reliability that will be required for the certification of poliomyelitis eradication;

         Recognizing the critical role that virological surveillance plays in eventual certification based upon reliable laboratory examination;

         Recognizing also the success of the national immunization days that were conducted in five countries during the low disease transmission seasons of 1994 and 1995;

         Acknowledging that routine immunization programmes and other disease control initiatives such as neonatal tetanus elimination and measles control are strengthened by the poliomyelitis eradication initiative;

  1. EMPHASIZES that the poliomyelitis eradication initiative in the Region must remain a high priority within the Region until global certification is achieved;
  2. URGES all Member States which are still reporting poliomyelitis case:
    (1) to continue with supplementary immunization activities, the scope of which will depend upon the reliability of surveillance and the extent of wild poliovirus circulation, until countries are confident that transmission of poliovirus has ceased;
    (2) to continue to develop virological surveillance and the laboratory network to attain the levels recommended for certification of eradication of poliomyelitis;
    (3) to continue to maintain high routine immunization coverage;
  3. URGES all Member States which are not reporting poliomyelitis cases:
    (1) to continue to maintain high routine immunization coverage;
    (2) to develop the capability to detect and respond to any occurrence of poliomyelitis cases, either indigenous or imported, in a timely manner, to prevent the spread of transmission;
    (3) to develop surveillance systems capable of demonstrating the absence of circulation of wild poliovirus, for eventual certification;
  4. THANKS the international partners who have been instrumental in the success of the poliomyelitis eradication initiative, particularly UNICEF, the governments of Australia, Canada, France, Japan, Malaysia, and the United States of America, and Rotary International, and other nongovernmental organizations;
  5. URGES all governments and international partners to maintain that commitment and continue to provide support until eradication is certified;
  6. REQUESTS the Regional Director:
    (1) to strengthen the capacity of national and regional laboratories in the poliomyelitis eradication network to rapidly isolate polioviruses;
    (2) to establish a Regional Certification Commission for poliomyelitis eradication which will be responsible for scrutinizing the data provided by countries;
    (3) to continue to report progress with the regional poliomyelitis eradication initiative until international certification has been achieved.

* WPR/RC46/9

14 September 1995


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