The Global Polio Eradication Initiative is a public-private partnership led by national governments and spearheaded by the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with the goal to eradicate polio worldwide. Wild poliovirus (WPV) and vaccine-derived polioviruses (VDPVs) can both cause clinical illness, including acute flaccid paralysis (AFP), and lead to outbreaks. There are three types of WPV, but only type 1 (WPV1) continues to circulate. The last type 3 poliovirus (WPV3) was isolated in 2012. The last type 2 WPV (WPV2) was isolated in 1999 and declared eradicated in September 2015. Nowdays, with only Afghanistan and Pakistan remaining polio endemic, wild poliovirus transmission is at the lowest levels in history, with the fewest-ever reported cases from the fewest-ever affected countries.
Within this context the funds from this project supported the implementation of the Global Polio Eradication Endgame strategy in Afghanistan and in particular the National Polio Eradication Emergency Action Plan 2015-2016.
As of September 2016, Afghanistan has conducted a total of 6 polio campaigns of varying scopes, including 3 national campaigns. UN Foundation funding was used to procure a total of 4,671,860 million doses of oral polio vaccine which was used during the May campaign.
As a result of improved quality campaigns, WPV1 transmission is now limited to small geographical area in Kunar province (Eastern region) and northern parts of Helmand and Kandahar province (South region).
Priority in 2016 and 2017 will be on the full implementation of the National Polio Eradication Emergency Action Plan.