U.S. Government Celebrates Partnership with Mozambique in the National Polio Response
October 26, 2022 – In celebration of World Polio Day on October 24, the U.S. Embassy renews its commitment to support Mozambique´s national efforts to eradicate polio and celebrates the progress achieved during the ongoing vaccination campaign to date.
The celebration of World Polio Day comes in a year marked by polio outbreaks in the Southern Africa region. Since February 2022, cases of wild poliovirus have been detected in Malawi and Mozambique, prompting a massive response from national health authorities, neighboring countries, and international partners through the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), which the U.S. Government supports through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“The cases of polio identified this year underscore the need to remain firm in our global goals to support national immunization efforts for this preventable disease,” said Irene Benech, CDC-Mozambique´s Country Director. “We need to continue to strengthen the surveillance system to detect outbreaks early and respond swiftly. We want to recognize the excellent work of both our Mozambique Government and GPEI partners in the current response and pledge our continued commitment to work together to end polio,” she said.
The swift action of MISAU, the U.S. government, and the GPEI partners made it possible to provide more than 25 million doses of polio vaccine to children under five years old during four rounds of vaccination against the virus. Preliminary results of a fifth vaccination round implemented this month indicate that 3.9 million more doses have been administered.
Through the CDC and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. government has supported the Ministry of Health (MISAU) in planning, implementing, and monitoring polio vaccination campaigns. The support also includes health surveillance activities to detect suspected cases and propose other necessary preventive interventions. In partnership with the World Health Organization and the GPEI, the U.S. government helps fund and organize the nationwide polio surveillance program to identify polio cases accurately and early. The U.S. government also transports polio samples from districts to national laboratories, improves the quality of samples collected, and trains local surveillance teams to identify polio cases. These efforts have resulted in notable improvements in the polio surveillance system. For example, in 2022, Mozambican health care workers have identified three polio outbreaks and 22 children paralyzed by polio in the central and northern Mozambique.
U.S. Government support includes funding and technical assistance for local and international partners to support the vaccination campaign. These include the Mozambique Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP), the Interfaith Malaria Program (PIRCOM), and MOMENTUM Routine Immunization Transformation and Equity (M-RITE). The United States has already provided over $3.7 billion to government partners worldwide to help eradicate polio by 2026.
Additionally, the U.S. Government, through USAID, is supporting of comprehensive routine immunization campaigns and services for children under five years old, intended to prevent further polio and other vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks now and into the future. Extending beyond the polio campaign, USAID implementing partners continue to provide technical assistance and direct support of the planning, awareness raising on the importance of vaccination, and implementation of comprehensive routine immunization activities in the provinces of Nampula and Zambezia.
For more than 60 years, CDC has leveraged its technical and scientific expertise to help people throughout the world live healthier, safer, longer lives. U.S. CDC’s Center for Global Health coordinates and manages the agency’s resources and expertise to address global challenges such as HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, COVID, polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases, emergency and refugee health, non-communicable diseases, injuries, and more. For more information about CDC’s work, visit www.cdc.gov.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) leads the U.S. Government’s international development and disaster assistance through partnerships and investments that save lives, reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance, and help people emerge from humanitarian crises. For more information about USAIDs work, visit www.usaid.gov.