The World Health Organization (WHO) donated to the Ministry of Health laboratory assets and materials for the environmental monitoring of the polio virus. This donation is estimated at $80.000 and the laboratory assets and materials are aimed at strengthening the capacity of the National Institute of Public Health and support environmental monitoring of pathogens, particularly the Wild Polio Virus (VSP), according to news agency Angop.
As reported, the method of collecting environmental samples was introduced in Luanda in July 2014, making Angola in the third country in the WHO African Region to establish environmental polio surveillance together with Nigeria and Kenya.
The environmental polio surveillance provides additional information on the quality of surveillance of Acute flaccid Paralysis (AFP) and it is a very sensitive method to detect the silent transmission of the polio virus, against the risk of any import. In 2012, UNICEF reported that after a concerted effort to stop polio transmission the number of polio cases dropped from 33 in 2010 to five in 2011 and no cases registered in 2012. Laboratory results have confirmed that the last case of wild poliovirus was a 14-month-old child from Uige Province in the country’s Northwest in July 2011.
“In recent years, Angola has made significant progress in the fight against polio by working with partners to improve disease surveillance, strengthen the quality and coverage of mass polio vaccination campaigns, expand and improve routine immunization services as well as expand access at a household level to safe water, sanitation and hygiene” UNICEF responsibles declared.
(Source: Angop and UNICEF)