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Operation MECACAR; eradicating polio : final report 1995 - 2000
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Filetype[PDF-2.70 MB]

  • Corporate Authors:
    World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe. ; Polio Plus Rotary International ; UNICEF ; ... More ▼
  • Description:
    Operation MECACAR (the coordinated poliomyelitis eradication efforts in Mediterranean, Caucasus and central Asian republics) reaffirms that tremendous public health accomplishments are feasible when national governments, WHO, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and other external partners work together closely--in this case, with the primary goal of reaching every child with oral polio vaccine. Since 1995, 18 countries and areas with diverse political systems have met regularly to exchange information openly, and to plan sound strategies to fight infectious diseases together. The success of Operation MECACAR is clear. Participants synchronized national immunization days (NIDs) against poliomyelitis so that children in mobile population groups could be immunized simultaneously. As a consequence, 15 of the participating countries and areas reported no indigenous poliomyelitis cases in 2000, with steep reductions in the number of cases in the others. In addition to the impact on poliomyelitis incidence, participants benefited from improved dialogue, the sharing of lessons learned, and joint planning. Operation MECACAR has directly influenced the approach to poliomyelitis eradication worldwide. In western and central Africa, 17 countries have already synchronized their NIDs in the autumn of 2000. These countries used the lessons of Operation MECACAR and decided to unite in an effort to rid their children forever of the threat of poliomyelitis. This collaboration will un- doubtedly lead to increased collaboration on other health goals. The mechanism of Operation MECACAR could be adapted for use in other areas of the world, as we seek to certify poliomyelitis eradication in 2005. All countries and areas must work together to exchange information, maintain certification-standard surveillance and contain laboratory poliovirus stocks. In addition, the MECACAR process provides a forum to coordinate policy for stopping poliomyelitis immunization.


    "The production of this book is funded jointly by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID)." - p. iv

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