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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2009 Mar 6;58(8):198-201.

Progress toward poliomyelitis eradication--Afghanistan and Pakistan, 2008.

Abstract

Afghanistan and Pakistan, two of the four remaining countries where wild poliovirus (WPV) transmission has never been interrupted, represent one epidemiologic reservoir. During 2008, both countries continued to conduct coordinated supplemental immunization activities (SIAs) against type 1 WPV (WPV1) and type 3 WPV (WPV3) using oral polio vaccine (OPV). Much of Afghanistan remained polio-free in 2008, with the exception of the conflict-affected South Region. In Pakistan, however, WPV transmission increased, particularly after WPV1 reintroduction into polio-free areas of Punjab Province. In total, 149 WPV cases (31 in Afghanistan and 118 in Pakistan) were confirmed in 2008, compared with 49 cases in 2007. Serious security problems in areas along the common border limited access by vaccination teams to large numbers of children in the two countries. In Pakistan, continued managerial and operational problems impeded full implementation of SIAs and adversely affected vaccination coverage in areas not affected by security problems. This report updates previous reports and describes polio eradication activities in Afghanistan and Pakistan during January--December 2008. Further progress toward interruption of WPV transmission in Afghanistan and Pakistan will require continued measures to overcome access problems in conflict-affected areas of both countries and improvements in the quality of SIAs and delivery of routine immunization services in Pakistan.

PMID:
19265781
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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