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About this publication
Norway has been declared polio-free since 2002. The National Polio Outbreak Preparedness and Response Plan has been developed so the country is prepared for a possible renewed outbreak of wild poliovirus (WPV) or vaccine derived polio virus (VDPV), following WPV importation or emergence of circulating VDPV (cVDPV). In a previously polio-free country like Norway, the occurrence of a polio case due to WPV or cVDPV must be considered as a national public health emergency, urgently requiring a rapid response. This document is developed in line with recently published Standard Operating Procedures for poliovirus outbreak response and operational guidelines on polio outbreak response1. Since Norway is situated far from the few remaining endemic areas of the world and oral polio vaccines (OPV) is no longer available, a possible renewed outbreak of wild WPV or VDPV is unlikely. Never the less, the migration and travel patterns in the world today put also Norway at risk for a renewed polio outbreak. One of the large groups of refugees arriving in Norway are from Afghanistan, and we have a large Pakistani community. One of the very few remaining endemic areas are the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, hence importation from travellers from these areas constitutes a potential risk also in Norway. The outbreak of cVDPV virus in Syria, and the large number of Syrian refugees to Europe also constitute a potential risk. Hence, an updated and clear plan to both maintain Norway polio-free and a plan to stop a polio outbreak is mandatory also for Norway. As The National Polio Outbreak Preparedness and Response Plan is closely linked to and partly rests on the measures taken to sustain a polio-free status in Norway, The National Plan of Action to Sustain a Polio-free status is presented in the same document. The National Plan of Action to Sustain a Polio-free status was written and sent from the Ministry of Health to WHO 23. May 2002, and is now presented in an updated version in this joint document. This document comprising both plans is reviewed by the National Certification Committee (NCC) and will be submitted to the Regional Certification Commission (RCC).