Eradicating Polio: WHO urges countries to strengthen surveillance system
By Fatou Dahaba
World Health Organization (WHO) country representative Dr. Desta A. Tiruneh has said that they are at the verge of eradicating Polio completely from the world and countries must strengthen surveillance system to early detect any introduction of the virus in any country.
The WHO country rep was speaking at the opening of a 3-day Multi-Country capacity building forum on integrated polio surveillance in the African Region for 11 Francophone that kick start on Tuesday 10th October 2023 in Banjul.
He said the participants are to learn new skills, methods and surveillance in the region to make sure that their surveillance systems are back to standard so that no virus can skip their attention.
‘If we do that then we are ready to eradicate polio completely and that’s why we are bringing so many Countries together. Let’s finish the business together because if one country is left behind it will be a step backwards for the whole world.’
Dr. Triuneh disclosed that since the outbreak of polio virus they have make significant progress and they’re at the verge of eliminating it completely because a lot success were registered in the years.
Meanwhile he said if any country is not ready with the surveillance system then polio and reestablish again which will retard their efforts in combatting their campaign for the total eradication of polio in Africa and the world at large.
He said despite given out polio vaccines to countries for them to be able to contain the transmission, two countries remained to be polio completely free and the virus is still persisting in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
‘Recently Malawi and Mozambique have cases of polio but they were able to quickly contain it and that’s a good sign that their surveillance systems are good to contain the spread of the virus.’
He added ‘The knowledge and skills you will gain here will not only enhance your country’s capacity but will also make a global impact because eradication of polio is a global commitment and as long as there’s a country at risk then we are all not safe anywhere in the world.’
Dr. Ndoutabe Modjirom Coordinator of the Polio Epidemic Rapid Response Teambase in Congosaid they’re in the Gambia to train there people to strengthen their capacity to detect very early all polio cases in the African Region and work towards implement quickly responses to stop all types of polio viruses, so that by 2024 they can eradicate polio in the world.
“We hope that after the meeting they will capacitate all their people deployed in the field to work very hardly to stop polio within the region.”