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 in sustaining high-quality surveillance for acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) and polioviruses;

         Noting that the last reported case of poliomyelitis had onset of illness on 19 March 1997;

         Noting further that, if all countries provide adequate documentary evidence consistent with the absence of wild poliovirus for three years under conditions of high quality surveillance, subject to the decision of the Regional Certification Commission, the Region can be declared poliomyelitis-free in 2000;

         Noting further that the task of poliomyelitis eradication will not be complete until all potential sources of polioviruses, including laboratory sources, are properly contained;

  1. URGES all Member States:
    (1) to ensure that the documentation for the certification that is provided to the Regional Certification Commission will be of the highest possible quality;
    (2) to maintain the highest possible quality of AFP and virological surveillance;
    (3) to continue routine immunization coverage, together with supplementary immunization in high-risk areas, until global certification is achieved;
  2. THANKS the international partners who have generously supported poliomyelitis eradication in the past year, particularly UNICEF, the governments of Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the United States of America, Rotary International, and Rotary International District 2640 and 2650 of Japan, and other nongovernmental organizations;
  3. REQUESTS the Regional Director to work closely with countries:
    (1) to ensure that substantial progress towards level 1 of laboratory containment of wild polioviruses and potentially infectious material is attained for regional certification;
    (2) to ensure that external support is available to sustain surveillance and supplementary immunization until global certification is achieved and beyond, if necessary.

15 October 1999

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