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Electronic notification system digitizes notification for polio certification

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  One of the key markers on the global path to poliovirus eradication is certification the formal verification that a region is polio free Last month that scoreboard got a digital upgrade Following the resolution passed at the World Health Assembly in 1988 to eradicate polio the Global Certification Commission was established to lead the formal certification process for polio free regions In 1995 the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region established the Regional Certification Commission RCC The RCC is comprised of scientific and public health experts who independently review and assess country data and documentation of activities and reports submitted by national polio eradication committees for all countries in the Region The RCC has an important purpose it reviews the annual certification reports submitted by the countries of the Region to identify the gaps in polio free countries and recommends appropriate risk mitigation measures It also works closely with National Certification Committees NCCs and other groups and reviews progress toward certification of polio eradication and containment of laboratory stocks of poliovirus Each year the RCC meets with NCC members from countries in the Region Global Polio Eradication Initiative stakeholders and ministries of health to review the epidemiological situation progress and present recommendations to the countries In May the RCC met for its 36th meeting in Dubai Speaking at the event WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Dr Al Mandhari expressed appreciation for the RCC s efforts to support polio eradication in the Region I am pleased to inform you that as a result of his efforts 20 of the 22 countries in our Region have achieved the required standards for polio certification With significant progress in the last 2 endemic countries of our Region we are closer than ever to eradicating polio This year the RCC reviewed reports from Bahrain Djibouti Egypt Islamic Republic of Iran Iraq Jordan Kuwait Libya Oman Palestine Qatar Saudi Arabia Somalia Sudan Syria Tunisia United Arab Emirates and Yemen The reports had been provisionally accepted pending revision based on comments from the RCC For Afghanistan and Pakistan their progress reports were reviewed and taken into account by the RCC During the meeting the RCC endorsed the new Annual Electronic Certification Report e ACR system effectively taking the system out of beta status and moving it into established practice and agreed that certification reports be submitted through this system sooner of the 37th RCC meeting in 2023 The e RCA as a recommendation of the RCC during the 33rd meeting in 2019 was developed as a web based system to mimic the offline workflow including submission review approval and archiving of the data reported within the annual meeting certification reports It enables custom and structured data entry that will help users easily retrieve data for comparison and analysis with previous years reports a process that previously relied on records kept in multiple separate systems or even paper records Following software development 65 participants representing the RCC NCCs and ministry of health focal persons from 13 countries were trained in 2 separate sessions in May and June 2022 Feedback and recommendations from these trainings are being incorporated to the e ACR system A third training is scheduled for September 2022 for representatives of the remaining 9 countries in the Region The introduction of the innovative e ACR system makes the Region one of the leading WHO regions in the digital archive of all certification reports This system not only facilitates data retrieval but also allows the next generation of disease eradicators to learn from the experience of polio eradication certification and process
Electronic notification system digitizes notification for polio certification

1 One of the key markers on the global path to poliovirus eradication is certification, the formal verification that a region is polio-free.

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2 Last month, that scoreboard got a digital upgrade.

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3 Following the resolution passed at the World Health Assembly in 1988 to eradicate polio, the Global Certification Commission was established to lead the formal certification process for polio-free regions.

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4 In 1995, the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region established the Regional Certification Commission (RCC).

5 The RCC is comprised of scientific and public health experts who independently review and assess country data and documentation of activities and reports submitted by national polio eradication committees for all countries in the Region.

6 The RCC has an important purpose: it reviews the annual certification reports submitted by the countries of the Region to identify the gaps in polio-free countries and recommends appropriate risk mitigation measures.

7 It also works closely with National Certification Committees (NCCs) and other groups, and reviews progress toward certification of polio eradication and containment of laboratory stocks of poliovirus.

8 Each year, the RCC meets with NCC members from countries in the Region, Global Polio Eradication Initiative stakeholders, and ministries of health to review the epidemiological situation, progress, and present recommendations to the countries.

9 In May, the RCC met for its 36th meeting in Dubai.

10 Speaking at the event, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, Dr Al-Mandhari, expressed appreciation for the RCC’s efforts to support polio eradication in the Region.

11 “I am pleased to inform you that, as a result of his efforts, 20 of the 22 countries in our Region have achieved the required standards for polio certification.

12 With significant progress in the last 2 endemic countries of our Region, we are closer than ever to eradicating polio.”

13 This year, the RCC reviewed reports from Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

14 .

15 The reports had been provisionally accepted pending revision based on comments from the RCC.

16 For Afghanistan and Pakistan, their progress reports were reviewed and taken into account by the RCC.

17 During the meeting, the RCC endorsed the new Annual Electronic Certification Report (e-ACR) system, effectively taking the system out of beta status and moving it into established practice and agreed that certification reports be submitted through this system sooner.

18 of the 37th RCC.

19 meeting in 2023.

20 The e-RCA, as a recommendation of the RCC during the 33rd meeting in 2019, was developed as a web-based system to mimic the offline workflow, including submission, review, approval and archiving of the data reported within the annual meeting.

21 certification reports.

22 It enables custom and structured data entry that will help users easily retrieve data for comparison and analysis with previous years’ reports, a process that previously relied on records kept in multiple separate systems, or even paper records.

23 Following software development, 65 participants representing the RCC, NCCs and ministry of health focal persons from 13 countries were trained in 2 separate sessions in May and June 2022.

24 Feedback and recommendations from these trainings are being incorporated to the e-ACR system.

25 A third training is scheduled for September 2022 for representatives of the remaining 9 countries in the Region.

26 The introduction of the innovative e-ACR system makes the Region one of the leading WHO regions in the digital archive of all certification reports.

27 This system not only facilitates data retrieval, but also allows the next generation of disease eradicators to learn from the experience of polio eradication certification and process.

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