China: strong surveillance alongside strong outbreak response

International health experts conclude: “It is highly unlikely” that undetected wild poliovirus circulating is continuing in Xingang.

20120612_China
Lop County, Xinjiang, China: Health staff entering data into the new online ‘real-time’ AFP surveillance system – part of enhanced surveillance activities. WHO/S. Roesel

The Government of China conducted a model response to last year’s polio outbreak in the country’s western Xinjiang province. Five large-scale immunization campaigns were conducted between September 2011 and April 2012, which provided more than 43 million doses of oral polio vaccine (OPV) to both children and adults under the age of 40. The result of these activities is that no new cases have occurred since 9 October 2011.

But how can it be fully assured that the outbreak has indeed been completely stopped? To help assess exactly this, the Government of China this month welcomed an international team of experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). From 4-12 June, the team of experts was on the ground in the province and conducted a rigorous assessment of the surveillance sensitivity for cases of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP). The team’s conclusions: it is ‘highly unlikely’ that undetected wild poliovirus circulating is continuing in Xinjiang.

The strong disease surveillance evident in the province is the result of enhanced activities that had immediately been initiated in Xinjiang as soon as the polio outbreak was confirmed last August. These activities included expanding the network of reporting sites to capture all age groups; ensuring comprehensive data management, analysis and reporting; and, introducing faster virus isolation diagnostics and real-time virus differentiation methods into the polio laboratory network. At the same time, across the country, a new online ‘real-time’ AFP surveillance system was introduced and rolled-out.

The findings by the review team are anticipated to provide further critical evidence to help ensure the Western Pacific Region will be able to maintain its polio-free certified status.

Full story in Chinese


Related News

   16/10/2018
Over 31 million children will be vaccinated against measles in Pakistan in a countrywide immunization campaign supported by the polio programme’s greatest asset: its people.
   08/10/2018
Group continues its historical support
   05/10/2018
Special report on Papua New Guinea
   28/09/2018
Head of WHO Chad Dr Jean-Bosco Ndihokubwayo speaks about the ongoing efforts to reach every child with polio vaccine across Chad
   26/09/2018
The last man with smallpox was an advocate for polio eradication.
   21/09/2018
Girl or boy, health workers in Nigeria are determined to show parents that the polio vaccination is for all children.