Expanded programme on immunization

China: Another milestone achieved towards regaining polio-free status

WHO/Sigrun Roesel
Health staff entering data into online 'real-time' AFP surveillance system in Shanlopo Township Hospital, Lop County, Xinjiang

Following rigorous conduct of five large scale immunization rounds from September 2011 to April 2012 which provided 43 million doses of oral polio vaccine (OPV) to children and adults under the age of 40 in Xinjiang, China welcomed an international review of its polio surveillance system from 4 to 12 June 2012. The review team of WHO and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention experts concluded that the surveillance system is sensitive to rapidly detect cases of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) and considered it highly unlikely that undetected wild poliovirus circulation continues in Xinjiang.

WHO/Sigrun Roesel
Health staff receiving daily zero reports from township hospitals at Lop County Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Xinjiang

This is another important milestone towards China maintaining its polio-free certified status. Enhanced AFP surveillance had immediately begun in Xinjiang once the polio outbreak was confirmed on 25 August 2011 and includes an expanded network of reporting sites to capture all age groups, daily zero case reporting and comprehensive data management, analysis and reporting. At the same time, a new online 'real-time' AFP surveillance system was introduced nationwide and the polio laboratory network has begun to use faster virus isolation diagnostics and real time virus differentiation methods.

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