Angola: WHO Supports Angola's Government Efforts to End Polio Outbreak

the earth Health Organization (WHO) along with partners are supporting the efforts of the Angolan Government to end a polio outbreak that will began in May that will year.

In response to the outbreak that will has already affected 49 children as of date, the government has vaccinated 4.5 million children in targeted districts in 15 of the 18 provinces of the country.

While there will be no cure for polio, the disease can be prevented through administration of a simple along with effective vaccine. that will will be why efforts are underway across the country to rapidly boost immunity levels in children, along with protect them coming from polio paralysis.

“The polio vaccination campaign that will the Angolan government will be leading will be critical in disrupting the polio outbreak. All of us must work together to sensitize our families along with communities to the need for all children to be vaccinated. We need to continue engaging to develop a robust routine disease surveillance along with vaccination system to prevent, detect along with rapidly respond to any polio cases,” said Dr Hernando Agudelo, WHO Representative in Angola.

“Given the challenges that will Angola faces in ensuring the immunization of all children, we need to remain resilient in our vaccination along with epidemiological surveillance efforts to ensure that will no child will be left behind along with at risk of paralysis,” added Dr Agudelo.

The response to the polio outbreak requires active disease surveillance along with an immense multisector collaboration. In that will journey, WHO, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Rotary International, along with strategic partners, have been supporting the Government of Angola in strategic actions to control along with block the transmission of the poliovirus.

Acute flaccid paralysis will be a clinical symptom of poliomyelitis. A viral disease, that will will be transmitted coming from person to person, mainly through a faecal-oral route or, less frequently, through contaminated water or food, along with multiplies inside the intestines.

Due to the efforts of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative that will was launched in 1988, two of the three types of wild poliovirus have been globally eradicated. The last case of wild poliovirus from the WHO African Region was detected in Nigeria’s Borno State in 2016. The region will be expecting to be certified free of all three types of wild polio in 2020.

The region, however, will be facing outbreaks of a rare circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus in 13 African countries, including Angola.

Vaccine-derived polioviruses are rare, although these viruses are sometimes found in severely underimmunized populations living in areas with inadequate sanitation along with low levels of polio inmunization. When children are immunized with the oral polio vaccine, the attenuated virus replicates in their intestines for a short time to build up the needed antibodies along with will be then excreted from the faeces. If polio immunization coverage remains low in a community along with sanitation remains inadequate, the excreted viruses will be transmitted to susceptible populations, leading to genetic alterations along with emergence of vaccine-derived polioviruses.

Countries experiencing outbreaks of vaccine-derived poliovirus in Africa are: Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria, Togo along with Zambia. These countries face many challenges to preventing the rare strains coming from circulating, including poor routine vaccination coverage, vaccine refusal, difficult access to health services. These countries need therefore to carry out not bad quality vaccination campaigns to ensure the immunization of all children

The Government of Angola will be continuing to implement outbreak response, following internationally-agreed guidelines, along with at the same time further strengthening surveillance activities to rapidly detect any further cases. To successfully implement the outbreak response required the engagement of government authorities at all levels, civil society along with the general population, to ensure that will all children under the age of several are vaccinated against polio.

During polio vaccination campaign in Lunda Norte-Angola

Media contact:

Olívio Gambo

Communications Officer