[Towards eradication of poliomyelitis in Vietnam and the western Pacific region, 1993].Sante 1994 May-Jun; 4(3):157-62S
In 1988, the World Health Assembly established the goal of global eradication of poliomyelitis by the year 2000, and the Western Pacific Region (WPR) of WHO established the goal of regional eradication by 1995. Countries in the WPR with endemic poliomyelitis include China, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Laos, and the Philippines. Each country has a national plan of action for eradication, based on three main strategies: maintenance of high coverage with three doses of OPV through routine immunization; supplemental immunization with OPV, including annual National Immunization Days (NIDs); and surveillance of acute flaccid paralysis cases, including isolation of polioviruses in stool specimens. The number of confirmed poliomyelitis cases reported to WHO decreased from 2,635 cases in 1991 to 1,226 cases in 1993, mostly reflecting the decrease in China where supplemental immunization started in 1990 in high-incidence provinces. In six provinces in Viet Nam where immunization days took place in 1992, confirmed cases dropped from 168 in 1992 to 42 in 1993. China, the Philippines, Viet Nam and Laos have conducted NIDs in 1993-1994, with two doses of OPV administered to more than 100 millions children under 5 years of age. NIDs will be repeated in 1994 and 1995, and are planned in Cambodia in January-February 1995. NIDs receive strong support from national governments, and financial assistance from Rotary International, Unicef, the governments of Australia, Japan and Canada, and the US CDC. The apparent elimination of wild polioviruses from the Americas, and the substantial progress already made in the WPR, demonstrate the feasibility of eradicating polio in the WPR and other regions of the world.