Enhanced polio protection to reach 650,000 Côte d’Ivoire children every year

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Côte d’Ivoire is introducing the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) into its routine immunisation programme

Cote d Ivoire - IPV launch

HE Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan, Minister for Health and AIDS Prevention, Dr Raymonde Goudou Coffie and Deputy CEO Anuradha Gupta and at the launch of the Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) which will protect 650,000 children every year against polio.
Credit: Gavi/2015/Pascal Barollier

Bouaké, 26 June 2015Côte d’Ivoire will protect 650,000 children every year against polio with the introduction of the Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) into the country’s routine immunisation programme. The first IPV immunisations took place on Friday at a high-level ceremony attended by Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan, and Minister for Health and AIDS Prevention, Dr Raymonde Goudou Coffie.

The project, part of the Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018, was supported by members of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), spearheaded by WHO, Rotary International, CDC, UNICEF, and supported by partners such as Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Côte d’Ivoire has been supporting GPEI’s strategy by implementing several eradication strategies since 1997, when the last polio type 2 case was reported in the country. The joint efforts of all partners, at national, district and community levels, have contributed to encouraging results. No wild polio cases have been detected in Cote d’Ivoire since July 2011, and global coverage of the oral polio vaccine (OPV) used until now has reached 98%.

The introduction will increase protection of Cote d’Ivoire’s children as it does not carry the small risk of vaccine-derived polio which exists with OPV.

“Through our unremitting efforts, polio is about to be eradicated,” said Minister Coffie. “As we come close to attaining our goal, it is our pressing duty to run down this tricky virus that has been causing and still is causing much suffering to humankind. Let us fight this noble fight together. Victory over poliovirus would be a great victory. The health of our children depends on it.”

“As long as a single child stays unprotected against this crippling disease, every child in Côte d’Ivoire and in the world is at risk of contracting the disease,” said Anuradha Gupta, Deputy CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “Strengthening routine immunisation is key to interrupting transmission of all polio types. By working in close collaboration with our GPEI partners and the Health Ministry, we are maximising children’s chances of growing into healthy adults.”

Strengthening routine immunisation is key to interrupting transmission of all polio types. By working in close collaboration with our GPEI partners and the Health Ministry, we are maximising children’s chances of growing into healthy adults.  

Gavi Deputy CEO, Anuradha Gupta

Ms Adèle Khudr, the UNICEF Côte d’Ivoire Representative, added that introducing IPV into the routine immunisation schedule of Côte d’Ivoire is a vector of hope for our children. She reminded those present that polio mainly affects children under five and there is no treatment against the disease. Vaccination is therefore the only option that gives a child lifelong protection.

In May 2013, the World Assembly endorsed the Polio Eradication & Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018. The Assembly called on countries to strengthen their routine vaccination systems through health system strengthening, and to introduce at least one dose of IPV as in preparation for phasing out OPV. In West Africa, some countries, including Nigeria, Senegal and Gambia, have already introduced IPV into their health systems.

“Introduction of IPV into the immunisation schedule is the final phase toward polio eradication”, said Dr Allarangar Yokouidé, WHO Representative in Côte d’Ivoire. “Côte d’Ivoire, like most other countries, has always used the oral vaccine, which has largely contributed to a 99% reduction in polio cases worldwide. Introducing IPV into routine immunisation programmes will, however, further enhance immunity and lower the small risks associated with vaccine-derived polioviruses”.

Since the beginning of this year, 27 cases of polio have been recorded, mainly in Pakistan where, like Afghanistan and Nigeria, the disease is still considered endemic by WHO. No cases have been recorded in Africa so far this year.

In collaboration with GPEI, Gavi has made unprecedented efforts to introduce IPV in most countries by 2015, which is funded through the GPEI budget. Strengthening routine vaccination is a key element in interrupting transmission and keeping the number of polio cases at zero.

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is funded by governments (Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, the People’s Republic of China, Republic of Korea, Russia, South Africa, Spain, the State of Qatar, the Sultanate of Oman, Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States), the European Commission, the Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation, the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Majid Al Futtaim, as well as private and corporate partners (Absolute Return for Kids, Anglo American plc., the A&A Foundation, The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, Comic Relief, the ELMA Vaccines and Immunization Foundation, the Gulf Youth Alliance, JP Morgan, “la Caixa” Foundation, LDS Charities, Lions Clubs International Foundation, UPS and Vodafone.

Click to view the full donor list.

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