Forty-eighth session


Eradication of Poliomyelitis in the Region

         The Regional Committee,

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

         Acknowledging the achievements made by Member States towards eradicating poliomyelitis, especially the intense efforts that are being made to interrupt wild poliovirus circulation during 1997;

         Noting that the total number of reported cases of poliomyelitis in 1996 associated with wild poliovirus was a provisional total of 21 as at 25 April 1997;

         Noting also that under conditions of high-quality surveillance, the transmission of the wild poliovirus is now confined to a small area of the Region;

         Noting further that all non-endemic countries and areas have established national committees, or, in the case of Pacific island countries, a subregional committee, for the certification of poliomyelitis eradication;

  1. URGES all Member States which are still reporting poliomyelitis cases:
    (1) to achieve and sustain the highest standards of surveillance and laboratory performance until global certification is attained;
    (2) to make special efforts to reach previously unimmunized children during supplementary immunization campaigns;
    (3) to regularly analyse surveillance data;
    (4) to take urgent action wherever wild poliovirus circulation is suspected;
    (5) to establish national certification committees by the end of 1997;
  2. URGES all Member States which are no longer reporting poliomyelitis cases:
    (1) to continue to maintain high routine immunization coverage and high-quality surveillance to protect against any occurrence of wild poliovirus;
    (2) to complete their national plans of action as recommended by the Regional Commission for Certification of the Eradication of Poliomyelitis to be presented to the Regional Commission at its second meeting in Manila in November 1997;
  3. THANKS the international partners who have generously supported poliomyelitis eradication in the Region in the past year, particularly UNICEF , the governments of Australia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United States of America, and Rotary International, Rotary International District 2650 of Japan and other nongovernmental organizations;
  4. URGES all governments and international partners to maintain their commitment and continue their support until global poliomyelitis eradication is certified;
  5. REQUESTS the Regional Director:
    (1) to work closely with countries to ensure that sufficient external support is available for the campaign to interrupt transmission of wild poliovirus;
    (2) to continue to provide technical support to countries, in particular to further improve the quality of surveillance for acute flaccid paralysis and polioviruses and to work with Member States to undertake activities related to certification of eradication of poliomyelitis;
    (3) to continue to facilitate the exchange of information and coordination of poliomyelitis eradication efforts between countries and with other WHO regions.

* WPR/RC48/6 Rev.1

24 September 1997

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