Australia’s role in the global eradication of polio  

The 2021 Australian Facilities Survey: Management of Polioviruses and Potentially Infectious Materials (PIMs) is being undertaken to meet Australia’s commitment to the global polio eradication effort. 

The purpose of the survey is to identify and assess the risk for the spread of poliovirus from laboratory and other facilities in Australia holding polio PIMsIt is vital that this survey is comprehensive and that all facilities that store human samples, sewage samples or specimens from animals used in polio research provide a formal response – this is because many facilities have found that they held PIMs without realising it. To ensure the accuracy of the information – completing the survey is important even if the facility does not hold any biological samples or PIMs. 

The data collected will relate to: 

  • the facility,  
  • the types of materials,  
  • an inventory of potentially infectious materials (if any),  
  • details of potentially infectious material storage and  
  • key personnel of the facility 

Once completed, the survey information will need to be verified by the Senior Representative of your organisation (CEO/Chairperson, Vice-Chancellor or equivalent) before it is returned.

Survey FAQs

When will the survey be sent?

Contact is currently being made with all facilities in Australia that meet these criteria, and surveys will be sent in the week beginning the 15th February 2021. Once received, we ask that facilities complete the survey as soon as possible and within 7 days of receipt. Data collection will be completed by 30th April 2021.

All organisations in Australia have also received information about the survey, so Senior Representatives are aware of the survey and its importance.

What do I do if I have been sent the survey?

If you receive a copy of the survey it is important that you complete and return it, even if you do not have any PIMs. A survey response of ‘we do not possess PIMs’ is vital input to ensure the completeness of the information collected and to address Australia’s commitment to the eradication of polio.

What do I do if I haven’t received a survey?

If you haven’t received a survey, but have samples that fit into the categories identified on the PIMs page (human faecal or respiratory samples (or derivative thereof), sewerage samples or samples from animals used in poliovirus research) then you can either contact us to receive a copy, or click here to access the survey

Who should complete the survey?

The survey should to be completed by the person who is responsible for the management of the laboratory where samples are stored/handled (Lab Manager, Facility Manager, Practice Manager etc.). This person should be knowledgeable about the samples that are stored in their laboratory/facility/medical practice so they can provide accurate answers to the questions.

How long will the survey take to complete?

The survey should only take 5-10 minutes to complete.