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Countries in the Americas agree to resolution on polio outbreaks

Countries in the Americas agree to resolution on polio outbreaks

United nations

Last Friday (30), during the 30th Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Health Conference, regional leaders approved a resolution to prioritize polio mitigation plans, including measures to increase vaccination and surveillance.

The decision comes in preparation for a possible outbreak after low vaccination rates and recent confirmation of circulating polio virus in New York.

Vaccination coverage has fallen below 80% in nearly all countries of the Americas in recent years, and 12 countries in the region are at high or very high risk of outbreaks.

After low rates of polio vaccination and surveillance in the Americas and the recent confirmation of the spread of the polio virus in New York, United States, health authorities in the region agreed A decision to prioritize polio mitigation plans, including measures to increase vaccination and surveillance, and to ensure adequate preparedness for a potential outbreak.

The document was unanimously approved last Friday (30th) by the 30th Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Health Conference, which brings together ministers and other health authorities from the Americas every five years to define the institution’s general policies.

The resolution calls on countries to engage civil society, community leaders, NGOs, the private sector, academic institutions and other stakeholders to move forward and work in a coordinated manner to keep the region polio-free.

Countries have requested PAHO – as the health agency for the Americas and the WHO regional office for the region – to provide technical cooperation and enhance cooperation among Member States in developing, implementing and monitoring plans. Polio preparedness and risk mitigation.

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Countries were also asked to report to the Pan American Health Organization on progress made, as well as challenges they faced in implementing efforts to eliminate polio in the region.

preventable disease – Polio, which can spread rapidly among communities with inadequate vaccination coverage, is untreatable but completely preventable by vaccination. However, vaccination coverage has fallen below 80% in nearly all countries in the Americas in recent years, and 12 countries in the region are at high or very high risk of developing an outbreak. The recommended vaccination rate to prevent return of the virus is 95%.

Prior to confirming the spread of polio in New York, USA, the PAHO urged Member States to be vigilant and take steps to proactively reach out to the unvaccinated population, as well as to increase surveillance of acute flaccid paralysis, an indicator of the spread of flaccid paralysis. poliomyelitis.

In 1994, after joint efforts by countries with the support of the Pan American Health Organization, the Americas region became the first region in the world to be certified polio-free by the World Health Organization.

a report – Also during the 30th Pan American Health Congress submitted Pan American Health Organization management report for the five-year period 2018-2022 for member countries. The document highlights the impact of COVID-19 on widening existing inequalities in the Americas, but also stresses that the pandemic has provided the region with an opportunity to rebuild societies that “do not trample and ignore those in vulnerable situations, but instead seek to help them achieving optimal levels of physical, mental and spiritual health and wellness.”

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While COVID-19 has slowed the region’s progress toward health goals, it hasn’t broken us, and it has given us many lessons and experiences that we can use to redouble our efforts and recover setbacks in some areas. Etienne.

The report also reflects the ongoing work of the PAHO to ensure universal health coverage, including the regional primary health care charter for universal health, APS 30-30-30, launched in April 2019, as well as the organization’s ongoing efforts to Elimination of diseases such as malaria, trachoma, lymphatic filariasis, Chagas disease and others.