Sep 10, 2018

POLIO has been confirmed in Port Moresby

POLIO has been confirmed in Port Moresby, in a six-year-old boy from the Five-Mile settlement.
According to the Health Department, this is the first case reported in the nation’s capital as findings confirmed after laboratory tests conducted by the Victorian Infectious Disease Reference Laboratory a World Health Organisation (WHO) Polio Regional Reference Laboratory in Australia.
The United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that this case is linked to the ongoing polio outbreak in PNG.
In response to this recent Polio case in Port Moresby, Health Secretary Pascoe Kase said the detection of the disease in Port Moresby is a huge concern and is not just a statistic.
“Each represents a child that will be permanently paralysed,” he said. He said the Health department and its partners will start an emergency polio vaccination campaign on September 24 in NCD followed by a nationwide polio campaign starting October 1.
WHO representative Dr Luo Dapeng said the confirmation of polio in an urban area is worrisome and WHO and partners are working together to support the government to continue to actively search for all possible polio cases, rapidly scale up the response in Port Moresby with the emergency vaccination and embark on a nationwide vaccination in the succeeding rounds of the campaign. “WHO and the Health Department have jointly deployed experts to conduct surveillance and are working with partners to engage with communities on polio prevention and reporting of suspected cases,” he said. UNICEF country representative Dr David McLoughlin said UNICEF is closely working with health promotion colleagues in implementing social mobilisation and community engagement activities.
“We appeal to community and church leaders to support these activities and vaccination teams to gain access and effectively deliver the essential health service,” he said. As of Sep 6, 2018, PNG has confirmed 10 polio cases, three in Morobe, two in Eastern Highlands, two in Enga, two in Madang and one in NCD.

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