28 April 1999
Polio in Angola
On 23 March, the paediatric hospital in Luanda reported that a total of 21 cases of
acute flaccid paralaysis with 3 deaths had been registered. An investigation by the
Ministry of Health demonstrated that by 3 April, 102 cases of AFP had been recorded in
Luanda and neighbouring areas of Bengo province. Cases were primarily in children aged
< 5 years and 90% of cases had received 2 doses or less of oral polio vaccine. Only 6%
had received 4 doses.
On 8 April, the National Institute of Virology in South Africa reported that wild
poliovirus type 3 had been isolated from 11 of 22 stool specimens taken from AFP cases in
Angola. By 25 April, the number of polio cases was reported to be 661 with 41 deaths.
Field investigation confirmed 6 cases of AFP in children aged < 5 years in Benguela, a
city 500 km south of Luanda. Investigation of the outbreak is ongoing with the assistance
of a WHO team. In response to the outbreak, 634 000 children were immunized with OPV in
Luanda on 17 and 18 April. A national immunization campaign is being planned to start in