A key step in global polio eradication is the destruction of all polioviruses, or their containment at essential facilities. In December 2014, WHO published the third Global Action Plan (GAPIII) for poliovirus containment aimed at minimizing the risks associated with the likelihood of accidental or deliberate poliovirus release from facilities after the eradication of wild polioviruses and the sequential cessation of routine OPV use.
Aligned with GAPIII, the Regional Plan consists of three phases relating to international polio eradication milestones: phase I, containment preparation; phase II, poliovirus type 2 containment period; and phase III, final poliovirus containment.
The Regional GAPIII survey was sent out in August 2015. Some countries have already adapted this format and are collecting the information electronically or by post. The survey is currently underway in other countries.
Essential activities that countries of the Region should carry out in phase I:
- Appoint a national poliovirus containment coordinator
- Draw up a list of laboratories and facilities
- Conduct a survey of laboratories and facilities
- Draw up an inventory of laboratories and facilities that stock infectious and/or potentially infectious material
- Destroy or transfer infectious and potentially infectious poliovirus material
- Prepare final containment report on all wild poliovirus in January 2016, and on Sabin type 2 poliovirus in August 2016.
Countries must inform PAHO about their decision to have a designated essential poliovirus facility, which in turn must inform WHO, so that WHO can initiate the containment certification process.