Current Situation and Future Direction of Polio Prevention and Control in Taiwan

En-Tzu Wang

2008 Vol.24 NO.2

Correspondence Author: En-Tzu Wang


Poliomyelitis, often called polio or infantile paralysis, is one of the most serious communicable diseases in human history. In order to cut down on suffering and damage caused by polio, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a worldwide campaign called the “Global Polio Eradication Initiative” (GPEI) in 1988. As a result of this campaign, the annual number of new symptomatic cases of polio had dropped to fewer than two thousand globally by the end of 2006. At this very moment, the epidemic areas are confined to only four countries worldwide, namely Afghanistan, India, Nigeria, and Pakistan.
Before the disease is eradicated in these epidemic regions, to prevent the disease from pouncing back, our polio surveillance system must remain on alert, and high completion rates of polio immunization need to be maintained. Also, attention needs to be given to the occasional imported cases to prevent the disease from spreading, laboratory management of of poliovirus specimens needs to be strengthened, and an appropriate polio vaccination policy for the post-eradication era should be developed in advance to ensure that polio stays eradicated and thatthe disease no longer poses a threat to the world. Now is a critical time for the on-going polio eradication process, and for the foreseeable future, we will continue to upgrade our polio surveillance and control system and to maintain the high vaccination rates so that the hard-to-come-by result of eradication, once achieved, can be effectively preserved.
Keywords: global polio eradication initiative, OPV, VDPV