Joint Containment – European Polio Laboratory Network Meeting
Europe is the first WHO region to have completed Phase I of the WHO Global Action Plan for Laboratory Containment of Wild Polioviruses, but globally polio eradication is at a critical point. Virus transmission was not interrupted in the four remaining polio-endemic countries in 2006, heightening the risk of wild poliovirus importation into the European Region. Regional initiatives include new guidelines on outbreak response and strong encouragement of supplementary immunization activities to close immunity gaps at national or subnational level. In February 2007, the WHO Regional Office Vaccine-preventable Diseases and Immunization Programme organized a three-day Meeting of national polio containment coordinators, heads of national polio laboratories and other national, regional and global representatives and experts to maintain the momentum, provide technical support, encourage networking and underline the message that constant vigilance is required.