January 2020
This new year looks to be a transformative one for the polio eradication effort.
Following months during which the virus exploited our weakest points, we are entering 2020 with fresh operational, scientific, social and policy tactics forged in response to these challenges. From rolling out a new strategy to stop the spread of type 2 circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV2), to prioritizing community engagement in Pakistan, the polio programme is committed to adapting its tactics and introducing innovations to help put operations back on track.
Female leadership in Afghanistan
Undeterred by gender barriers and dedicated to keeping children polio-free, 24-year-old Anis Faizy rose from an entry-level social mobilizer position to become a District Communication Officer with the polio programme in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Read more about Anis, who leaves home at dawn during campaigns to coordinate her team of 56 outreach workers focused on reducing vaccine hesitancy in their community. [More]
Vaccine-derived polio explained
The head of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, Michel Zaffran, explains why circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) outbreaks have been increasing and what the programme is doing to combat further spread. Check out this Q&A to learn more about the tools we use to control cVDPV outbreaks, the challenges posed by vaccine shortages and the development of a new vaccine which could transform our abilities to halt the virus in its tracks. [More].
Three countries halt vaccine-derived polio outbreaks
Last month, the World Health Organization announced that through dedicated emergency response vaccination campaigns, Kenya, Mozambique and Niger have stopped the cVDPV outbreaks affecting their countries. Their success demonstrates that when fully implemented, tactics to control these outbreaks are effective, providing valuable lessons for other countries continuing to battle vaccine-derived viruses. [More]
Wild poliovirus in 2020 (2019)*
Global Total:   4 (8)

Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus in 2020 (2019)*
Global Total:   0 (1)

*Data as of 29 January 2020. Numbers in brackets represent data at this time in 2019.
Breakdown by country 
Polio this week
BBC Radio 4: The Inquiry: Can we eradicate polio?

PBS NewsHour: Nigeria hits polio milestone as the world eyes eradication

Foreign Policy: Pakistan’s Secret Weapon Against Polio
  • At the International Polio Plus Committee (IPPC) meeting in January 2020, Rotary International approved US$ 45 million in funding for polio eradication efforts in countries throughout Africa and Asia. The funding will help support crucial polio eradication activities such as immunization and disease detection, research, and community mobilization.
  • Rotary International and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation also announced a joint commitment of up to US$ 450 million to support the global polio eradication effort. Rotary is committed to raising US$ 50 million per year over the next three years, with every dollar to be matched with two additional dollars from the Gates Foundation. This expanded agreement will translate into up to US$ 450 million for polio eradication activities.  
  • Thank you to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the provision of US$ 14.5 million in supplementary funding to support polio eradication personnel, surveillance and laboratory activities.
  • The programme extends its gratitude to the United Nations Fund for International Partnerships for providing US$ 405 000 to fund the position of the External Relations Senior Strategist in support of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative for an additional year.  
  • Thank you to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for their generous contribution of US$ 11 268 780 to the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region, to support personnel costs and activities in support of the interruption of polio transmission. The programme would also like to extend thanks to the Foundation for their contribution of US$ 99 403 in supplemental funding to support the Pakistan Rehabilitation Grant, which works to improve the quality of life of children suffering from polio-related disabilities.
  • Many thanks to the Government of Canada for their contribution of Can$ 11 million to UNICEF, to support polio eradication activities in Afghanistan and globally. Canada has also fully honored its Can$ 20 million pledge to Nigeria operations with a final payment of Can$ 944 800 to the World Health Organization, and has fully met its Can$ 40 million pledge to WHO for global polio eradication activities with a last payment of Can$ 11 million.  
  • Thank you to KfW Nigeria for contributions of €24.3 million to WHO and €2.5 million to UNICEF, to fund polio eradication activities in the country.
  • UNICEF would like to thank Comic Relief USA for their contribution of US$ 1.25 million to support vaccine purchase for a vaccination campaign in Afghanistan.
  • Thank you to the Government of Nigeria for contributions of US$ 715 000 to UNICEF to support polio eradication efforts.
  • UNICEF extends its gratitude to the Al Abdullah Family for their contribution of US$ 1 million to support the programme.
  • Many thanks to the Al Ansari Exchange for contributing US$ 1 million to UNICEF’s polio eradication efforts.
  • UNICEF is grateful for the contribution of US$ 15.3 million by the National Philanthropic Trust to support global polio eradication.
Dr Latifah Ali vaccinates a child living in Aden, Yemen during a polio campaign held December 2019. The campaign was the first held in the conflict-affected country in many months. Amidst intensely challenging conditions, health workers provided over four million children with vaccines. ©WHO/Yemen






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