National Task Force on Laboratory Containment of Poliovirus

Laboratory containment of poliovirus ensures that the poliovirus is not reintroduced into the community through laboratories which store them for various purposes including research, vaccine manufacturing and diagnostic purposes. It is an important and mandatory component of polio-free certification.

The global action plan (3rd edition, 2009) for poliovirus containment is implemented in four phases.

  • National survey and wild poliovirus inventory
  • National long-term poliovirus policy and regulations
  • Global destruction and containment of WPV
  • Global destruction and containment of OPV/Sabin polioviruses

Completion of phase 1 is a necessary pre requisite for regional certification. In this phase, all facilities with wild poliovirus infectious or potentially infectious materials are identified and an inventory of such facilities is prepared to pursue destruction of unneeded poliovirus material so that risk of re-establishment of poliovirus transmission is eliminated.

In February 2004, the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare constituted a National Task Force on Laboratory Containment of Poliovirus under the chairmanship of the Director-General, Indian Council of Medical Research. The National Task Force is responsible to write the national plan for poliovirus containment. As a compulsory requirement for regional certification, the task force conducted a nation-wide search for laboratories to create a list of all biomedical laboratories in the country that could potentially be storing wild poliovirus infectious or potentially infectious materials.

The final national inventory for containment was submitted by the National Task Force, along with supporting documentation, to the National Certification Committee for Polio Eradication. This was an integral part of the national documentation for certification submitted to the South-East Asia Regional Certification Commission for Polio Eradication.

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