Polio eradication “will happen”

IMB says polio eradication must be ‘seen through to completion’

20130121_IMB
WHO/H. Everts

21 January 2013 – The Independent Monitoring Board (IMB), set up to independently verify progress towards the achievement of a polio-free world, urged that the goal of polio eradication must ‘absolutely be seen through to completion’.

Meeting by teleconference on 18 January 2013, the Board concluded that although the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) missed its end-2012 milestone of stopping all wild poliovirus transmission globally, the programme had brought the world to the brink of eradicating polio. “Now more than ever, the world must be absolute in its resolve to eradicate polio,” the Board said in a statement. “If the right things are done and commitment remains high, it will happen.” The Board in particular noted the strong resolve by the people and Government of Pakistan in the face of the horrific and deadly attacks on health workers last month, who have made clear that eradicating polio remains their urgent goal. “Our hearts are with the families of those who were killed. The best tribute to their memory is for their work to be finished – for polio to be eradicated from Pakistan,” the statement read.

At the same time, however, the Board cautioned that the GPEI needed ‘unwavering global support’ in these final stages of its mission. “Each country, and each of its partners, is signing up to deliver something that is difficult, but of historic importance and absolutely feasible,” it said.

The Board commended progress in developing the 2013-2018 Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan, and in particular the consultative process the GPEI has undertaken in its development. But the Board cautioned that development of this Plan cannot be allowed to divert attention from the ground. “The Plan’s title mentions 2018. This must not unintentionally create a mindset that the poliovirus will be allowed to kill and paralyse for five more years. It is 2013 that matters the most. Stopping transmission is urgent – progress must be seen in weeks and months, not months and years,” the Board concluded.

Related


Related News

   22/01/2018
Afghanistan’s surveillance system is the strongest it’s ever been, says country experts
   22/01/2018
Over the critical ‘low transmission season’, Pakistan’s polio programme is working feverishly to identify and vaccinate every high-risk mobile child
   22/01/2018
Women are critical in the drive to eradicate polio in Afghanistan. In one of the final strongholds of the polio virus, vaccination coverage is improving as female vaccinators have more access to children.
   19/01/2018
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) is extremely saddened that two committed frontline health workers were killed while delivering vaccines in Quetta, Pakistan. We extend our deepest condolences to their family. The delivery of health care is im...
   15/01/2018
To eradicate polio, we need to stop all strains of the virus, including vaccine-derived polioviruses. This short animation explains how these rare virus strains emerge and how to stop them.
   15/01/2018
Update on polio eradication efforts in Afghanistan for December 2017