Global Commission for Certification of Poliomyelitis Eradication (GCC) meet in Geneva to review criteria for certification
On 26-27 February 2018, the Global Commission for Certification of Poliomyelitis Eradication (GCC) met in Geneva, Switzerland, to review the criteria that will need to be met to achieve global certification of wild poliovirus (WPV) eradication.
With fewer cases of WPV reported from fewer countries than ever before, the GCC is accelerating its work to prepare for the eventual certification that WPVs have been eradicated from the world.
As part of this process, the GCC faces two important and challenging tasks:
- obtaining and evaluating convincing evidence of interruption of poliovirus transmission; and,
- obtaining and evaluating evidence that polioviruses will be contained to a high level where they are being held.
Discussions focused on reviewing regional progress in the remaining endemic regions of Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean, defining the parameters that will be used for certification, discussing surveillance requirements including in settings requiring additional data such as conflict settings, and evaluating requirements for safe containment of polioviruses in laboratory settings.
Critically, recognizing the increasing importance of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) outbreaks as the world moves towards the eradication of WPVs, the GCC agreed that eligibility for WPV certification must not only entail the demonstrated absence of WPV strains, but also the absence of cVDPVs (for at least 18 months for type 2, and for at least six months for types 1 and 3).
The full report from the meeting will be available upon publication (in March) at www.polioeradication.org.
The certification of WPV eradication takes place when the GCC is satisfied with the evidence that WPV transmission has been successfully interrupted, and in the demonstrated absence of cVDPVs for a period of at least 18 months (for type 2) and six months (f or types 1 and 3). This verification ensures that data and evidence are analysed and validated in the most independent and objective manner.
The GCC is independent of WHO and independent of involvement in national polio vaccination implementation or polio surveillance programmes. WHO Regions are eligible for certification following the absence of WPV from any country in that region from any population source in the presence of certification-standard surveillance. Regional certification is conducted by Regional Certification Commissions (RCCs). Global certification will follow the successful certification of all six WHO regions, and will be conducted by the GCC.
As at 2018, four regions have been certified as free of WPVs: Region of the Americas (1994), the Western Pacific Region (2000), the European Region (2002), and the South-East Asia Region (2014).
For more information, please contact:
Global Polio Eradication Initiative, World Health Organization
Tel: +41 (0)79 500 6536