Somalia and stakeholders pledge to act now, take urgent and bold action to end the ongoing circulating poliovirus type 2 outbreak and keep the country wild poliovirus free – Somalia

NAIROBI, 22 March 2022 – Yesterday the Federal Government of Somalia, the World Health Organization (WHO) and members of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) recommitted to stopping the ongoing outbreak of circulating poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) in Somalia at a three-day meeting convened in Nairobi, Kenya. High-level delegates to the meeting included HE Fawziya Abikar Nur, Federal Minister of Health and Human Services, Dr Mamunur Rahman Malik, WHO Representative in Somalia and Head of Mission, as well as high-level representatives the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Rotary International, Save the Children, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other United Nations agencies and partners United.

Together, the government, GPEI partners, which include WHO, UNICEF, BMGF, CDC, Rotary International, GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance and other key partners endorsed the Plan d Somalia Polio Eradication Action 2022 to reaffirm their commitment.

The Somalia Polio Eradication Action Plan 2022 presents a four-point call to action to stop the spread of the current outbreak, which is one of the longest-lasting cVDPV2 outbreaks ever reported in Somalia. this day. The robust plan aims to direct partner efforts and resources towards strengthening population immunity, making concerted efforts to reach high-risk populations – including inaccessible and nomadic communities and internally displaced people. inside the country – to strengthen their immunity, improve the search for poliovirus circulation and strengthen coordination between all stakeholders. Some of the strategies that will be deployed include scaling up efforts to provide 5 polio vaccination opportunities in 2022, routine vaccination of children in high-risk areas, where children have not been vaccinated, and strengthening community engagement. Given the ease with which the cVDPV2 virus spreads across international borders, the contingency plan also calls for enhanced cross-border coordination between polio eradication programs in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti. .

“In the midst of the current drought, and while recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, our stakeholders must not forget how important it is to contain the ongoing poliovirus outbreak so that it does not no longer spread and no longer affect children’s lives,” said HE Fawziya Abikar Nur, Federal Minister of Health and Human Services. “On this occasion, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all our partners and donors, for their tremendous efforts to protect millions of Somali children from polio over the years.”

“Since its inception 25 years ago, the polio eradication program in Somalia has made progress, including stopping outbreaks of wild poliovirus and most recently a circulating poliovirus type 3 outbreak in 2021. The program has built a vast network of polio personnel and assets and we can do more to not just stop the current outbreak, but to achieve broader health system goals through integration and efficient use of our human and operational resources. Since 2018, Somalia has conducted several supplemental immunization campaigns. Despite these efforts, there remain pockets of unvaccinated children, due to insecurity and limited access to health services,” said Dr Mamunur Rahman Malik, WHO Representative in Somalia.

The Somalia Polio Eradication Action Plan, which will be implemented in 2022, complements one of the objectives set out in the Somalia’s “Polio Eradication Strategy 2022-2026: Keeping the Promise”. IMEP, to stop cVDPV transmission and prevent outbreaks in non-endemic countries. It is also in line with Somalia’s national goals and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

For more information, please contact:

Khadar Hussein Mohammed
Head of Coordination and Communication, Ministry of Health
Federal Government of Somalia
[email protected]

Fouzia Bano
Communications Officer
WHO Somalia
[email protected]

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