MANILA- Another milestone in the Philippines’ fight against polio happened on 11 August 2016 at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine – Department of Health (RITM-DOH), as the National Task Force on the Laboratory Containment of Poliovirus destroyed all the poliovirus type-2 samples in the RITM National Polio Laboratory.
“We are making history today as we witness the destruction of stool samples, extracts, infected tissue culture fluid containing poliovirus type 2,” said Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial, during the opening ceremony of the event.
The destruction of samples is essential in minimizing the risk of re-introducing polioviruses from laboratory samples.
This was done in line with the Philippines’ commitment to the Polio Endgame Plan, a 5-year strategic plan that outlines actions for eliminating polio in its last strongholds and for maintaining a polio-free world.
The Plan is part of the Global Polio Eradication Intitiative (GPEI), a global public health initiative that began in 1988. GPEI has been successful in reducing the number of polio cases worldwide by 99%.
RITM has served as the National Reference Laboratory for Polio in the country since 2003.