Acute Flaccid Paralysis Surveillance in Zambia: Progress towards the Polio End Game
Background: In the global polio eradication initiative acute flaccid paralysis cases are followed up two to three months after onset of paralysis to assess recovery of the children. In Zambia AFP cases are followed up regularly but there is no documentation of the clinical and laboratory findings. The purpose of this paper is to document the support WHO country office offers to the follow up of the AFP cases in Zambia to identify gaps which the WHO Country office could address.
Methods: This study used secondary data from a case control study design, conducted and supported by WHO country office, which was aimed at assessing the association of NPEVs with AFP. Particularly this study aims at assessing the presence or absence of residual paralysis and the laboratory findings of the affected children.
Results: A total of 93 cases of, which over 55% were males were included in this study. Majority of the cases were aged between 24 and 35 months (28.4%). Regarding vaccination status, 77% of the cases had received 1 to 4 doses of the Oral Polio (OPV) vaccine. About 62% of the viruses isolated were identified as Cox B, and Echo 3, 6, 7, 11, 12, 14 and 29. Of all NPEVs 37.1% yielded no neutralization pattern. Only 9 (9.67%) cases were followed up; out of which 3 (33.3%) had residual paralysis with one of those with residual paralysis who later died.
Conclusion: AFP surveillance and follow up of cases is carried out in Zambia. However, rehabilitation information of the affected children is not followed up, an issue which WHO country office with regards to the transformation agenda could pursue to ensure that the affected children are adequately supported as a contribution to the polio eradication end game.