The Polio Endgame Strategy 2019-2023

GPEI statement on the strategy to achieve and sustain a polio-free world

Today, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) launched the Polio Endgame Strategy 2019-2023, which will guide the programme and its partners to overcome the final hurdles to eradication and move toward sustaining a polio-free future.

A child being vaccinated in Sudan's Darfur region © Jean-Marc Giboux
A child being vaccinated in Sudan’s Darfur region © Jean-Marc Giboux

The new plan hones in on addressing today’s most pressing obstacles to end poliovirus transmission imminently, integrate polio programme resources into health and development programmes globally, and certify the world polio-free. In addition to building on the programme’s core strategies to expand access to vaccination and improve surveillance around the world, the 2019-2023 Endgame Strategy offers responsive and innovative solutions tailored to communities’ needs. These include establishing a regional hub in Amman, Jordan to enhance coordinated support to Afghanistan and Pakistan and creating permanent Rapid Response Teams to accelerate the programme’s response to outbreaks.

The programme will also work to improve immunisation coverage and support basic development needs through strengthened collaboration with immunisation partners such as Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the humanitarian and emergency response communities.

To reach its goals and achieve eradication, the Endgame Strategy requires a US$4.2 billion budget, of which US$3.27 billion is to be raised by the GPEI. In support of the Strategy and to encourage additional commitments, a pledging event will be hosted this November at the Reaching the Last Mile Forum in Abu Dhabi, a gathering of leaders from across the global health space held once every two years. The pledging event will be hosted by the GPEI, with the support of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, a longtime champion of the polio programme.

A polio team doing marking a door in Ravi Town, Lahore during NID III © WHO/A.Khan
A polio team marking a door in Ravi Town, Lahore during NID III © WHO/A.Khan

The 2019-2023 Endgame Strategy builds on the 2013-2018 Strategic Plan, which brought the world to the brink of polio eradication. Despite this impressive progress, the last steps to eradication have proved to be the most difficult.

Wild poliovirus transmission continues in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus outbreaks are ongoing in several countries across Africa and Asia. To overcome these challenges, the new Strategy must be fully implemented with sufficient resources and commitments from governments, donors, multilateral organisations, and local communities.

The Polio Endgame Strategy 2019-2023 was discussed at the 2019 World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland during the week of 20 May.

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