EGYPT – The Regional Commission of Certification (RCC) has endorsed the new Electronic Annual Certification Reporting (e-ACR) system and agreed for certification reports to be submitted through the digital system towards eradication of poliovirus in Africa and beyond.

The digital health intervention was developed as a web-based system to mimic the offline workflow, including submission, review, approval and archiving of reported data within the annual certification reports following a recommendation from the RCC during the 33rd meeting in 2019.

During the 36th meeting of the Regional Commission of Certification, the RCC effectively “yanked” the new Electronic Annual Certification Reporting system out of beta status and agreed for certification reports to be submitted through the futuristic system prior to the next RCC meeting in 2023.

The Electronic Annual Certification Reporting allows for customized and structured data entry that will help users to easily retrieve data for comparison and analysis with reports from previous years.

At the same time , the e-ACR system allows for the next generation of disease eradicators to learn from the experience of certification and the process of polio eradication.

The RCC announced that it had 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 in 2021.

Feedback and recommendations from these trainings are being incorporated into the e-ACR system. A third training is scheduled for September 2022 for representatives from the 9 remaining countries in the Region.

WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean


Furthermore, World Health Organization (WHO) reveals that the reviewed reports had been provisionally accepted pending revision based on RCC comments while progress reports for Afghanistan and Pakistan were reviewed and noted by the RCC.

WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Dr Al-Mandhari acknowledged that 20 out of the 22 countries in the Region had achieved the required standards for poliomyelitis certification during the meeting in Dubai.

WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean established the Regional Commission of Certification in 1995 following the resolution passed at the World Health Assembly in 1988 to eradicate polio.

The main objective of RCC is to review the annual certification reports submitted by countries in the Region to identify gaps in polio-free countries and recommends appropriate risk mitigation measures.

The RCC also works closely with the National Certification Committees (NCCs) and other groups, and reviews progress towards certification of polio eradication and to containment of laboratory stocks of poliovirus.

According to WHO, the RCC comprises public health and scientific experts who independently review and assess country data and documentation of activities and reports submitted by the national committees on polio eradication for all countries in the Region.

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

In addition, the United Nations agency confirmed that 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 following the software development.

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