Extraordinary cooperation to detect Poliovirus in Sudan

Extraordinary cooperation to detect Poliovirus in Sudan

No new Wild Polio cases reported this week.  We are now 6 weeks since the most recent reported Wild Polio Case – on 6/10/23 in Afghanistan. 

What is that Polio Picture? It takes extraordinary cooperation to detect Poliovirus in conflict areas like Sudan.

Much like a relay race, in AFP surveillance, speed and coordination are key. Once health teams find a child with AFP, the race begins. But emergencies often present additional hurdles. In one of the localities in Sudan’s White Nile state, Ahmed Masaood, a health worker, was tasked with collecting two stool samples from a child presenting with AFP. However, when the roads outside turned unsafe during Ahmed’s visit, he ended up having to seek refuge with the family he was visiting for two nights.

As soon as he could, he rushed to the state cold room with his stool carrier to drop off the samples for storage until they could be tested.

The next lap of the race involves getting children’s stool samples to a WHO-accredited laboratory for testing. Due to the conflict, Sudan’s polio laboratory is not functioning, which meant the polio programme urgently needed to look for another laboratory to test stool samples to determine if children presenting with AFP had indeed been infected with poliovirus.

In a remarkable partnership, Sudan’s polio program teamed up with Egypt’s health authorities to use the VACSERA laboratory in Giza for this crucial task. Senior decision makers at the Egyptian Ministry of Health not only approved the collaboration but instructed for it to begin as soon as possible.

A Win Against Polio is a Win for Global Health!

2023 Circulating Vaccine Derived Polio Cases – 186 Benin – 3, Burkina Faso – 1, Central African Republic – 10, Chad – 15, Cote d’ Ivoire – 2, DR Congo – 107, Indonesia – 3, Israel – 1, Madagascar – 13, Mali – 3, Mozambique – 3, Nigeria – 19, Somalia – 2, Tanzania – 1, Zambia – 1.

New Polio Cases & Samples This Week –

  • Chad: five cVDPV2 cases
  • Congo: one cVDPV2 positive environmental sample
  • DR Congo: eight cVDPV1 cases, 16 cVDPV2 cases and two cVDPV2 positive environmental samples
  • Madagascar: eight cVDPV1 positive environmental samples
  • Somalia: three cVDPV2 positive environmental samples
  • Tanzania: one cVDPV2 case
  • Zambia: one cVDPV2 positive environmental sample

2022 Circulating Vaccine Derived Polio Case Total – 912 Afghanistan – 43, Algeria – 3, Benin – 11 (3 in 2021), Burundi – 1, Cameroon – 3 (3 in 2021), Central African Republic – 6, Chad -44 (0 in 2021), DR Congo – 507 (28 in 2021), Republic of Congo – 1, Eritrea – 1, Ethiopia – 1, Ghana – 3, Indonesia – 1, Israel – 1, Madagascar – 14 (13 in 2021), Malawi – 4, Mali – 2, Mozambique – 22 (2 in 2021), Niger – 16 (18 in 2021), Nigeria – 48 (415 in 2021), Pakistan – 8, Somalia – 5 (1 in 2021), Sudan – 1, Togo – 2, United States – 1, Yemen – 162 (69 in 2021).

2021 Circulating Vaccine Derived Polio Cases -689 in 22 Countries.  

2020 Circulating Vaccine Derived Polio Cases – 1,113 in 26 countries in 2020.

Quote of the Day

“Let’s think BIG about our Polio fundraising this year. Begin planning your World Polio Day fundraiser now for October 24 if you haven’t already.”

— Barry Rassin, Rotary Foundation Chair 2023-24

The Final Two Polio Endemic Countries:




as of 8/5/2023

0 new Polio cases reported this week. The most recent cases had an onset of paralysis on 2/20/23.
0 WPV1 and 0 CVDPV2-Positive Environmental Samples were reported this week in Afghanistan.
1 Wild Polio cases – 2023
20 Wild Polio cases – 2022
1 Wild Polio case – 2021
84 Wild Polio cases – 2020




as of 8/5/2023

0 new Polio cases reported this week. The most recent cases had an onset of paralysis on 6/10/23.
WPV1 and 0 CVDPV2-Positive Environmental Samples were reported this week in Afghanistan.
5 Wild Polio cases – 2023 (all from Nangarhar Province)
2 Wild Polio case – 2022
4 Wild Polio cases – 2021
56 Wild Polio cases – 2020

Our Goal is Global Polio Eradication!!

Terry Ziegler, Polio Update Newsletter Editor Rotary Region 36

What is a vaccine cold chain?

What is a vaccine cold chain?

by Elizabeth Schroeder
reposted from Rotary.org

The logistics of shipping and storing vaccines

A mass, worldwide vaccination effort is crucial to defeating the COVID-19 pandemic — but the logistics of getting it done are incredibly complex. Two of the most complicating factors? Storage and transportation.  

Distributing vaccine doses is much more elaborate than simply putting vials in a box and loading them onto a truck. From the time a vaccine leaves the manufacturer to the time it’s administered to a patient, it needs to be kept in ideal and highly specific conditions. For example, Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine needs to be stored at a frigid -70° C.  That’s why the success of large-scale immunization efforts is dependent on a reliable cold chain: a system of safely storing and transporting vaccines at recommended temperatures.

What makes up a cold chain?

A seamless cold chain combines three equally important elements:

  • Equipment: in most cases, the best storage option is a pharmaceutical-grade unit, specially designed for housing vaccines. Unlike the freezer where you keep your ice cream, these can cost upwards of $15,000. Specialized portable coolers are also important for moving vaccines from one location to another.
  • Personnel: staff and volunteers tasked with handling vaccines must be thoroughly trained on safe storage and transportation practices. This is particularly important because different vaccines require different conditions.
  • Processes: vaccinating facilities must have clear, detailed, and up-to-date instructions for vaccine handling — plus contingency plans in case of emergency. What if the facility loses power? What if there’s a weather event? These questions and more should have thorough answers.
What happens if the chain breaks?

Vaccines can only protect against disease if they’re delivered safely. Overexposure to heat, cold, or light can compromise vaccine quality. Not only does this diminish the vaccine’s effectiveness; it also leads to wasted vaccine supply and financial loss. Between spoiled vaccines, replacement costs, and administrative expenses, cold chain errors cost healthcare shippers billions of dollars a year.  

How we help

For more than 30 years, Rotary members have been supporting the safe transport of polio vaccines to every corner of the globe. When it comes to COVID-19, we’re just as committed to bringing vaccines to all. Learn more about how we’re playing our part: http://on.rotary.org/covid19efforts.