U.S., Russia reaffirm commitment to eradicate polio at G8 Summit

Deauville, France- At the G8 Summit in Deauville, Presidents Obama and Medvedev recognized the collaborative efforts already underway between the United States and Russia to eradicate polio globally, and pledged to continue that cooperative until the eradication objective is finally achieved.

In January of this year, the U.S. government and the government of the Russian Federation, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Ministry of Health and Social Development of the Russian Federation (MOHSD), signed a Protocol of Intent on Cooperation for the Global Eradication of Polio.

“By working together, the United States and Russia can have a much greater impact on global development challenges like the eradication of polio,” says USAID’s Deputy Assistant Administrator Jonathan Hale.

The ‘reset’ policy of the Obama Administration, in conjunction with the work of the Health Working Group of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission, is presenting opportunities for even closer and deeper dialogue and collaboration in the health sector, both within our two countries and globally. Areas of collaboration include providing technical assistance for polio surveillance; participating in and monitoring of polio immunization campaigns; providing technical assistance on polio clinical diagnoses, case management and rehabilitation; and advocacy and resource mobilization.

The first activities to implement the protocol are a joint immunization monitoring mission planned for Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan May 23-27, 2011. These missions are being planned in cooperation with the Ministries of Health of the two countries and with the World Health Organization. The goal of joint immunization and monitoring missions is to identify strengths and gaps in current immunization campaigns, provide suggestions for improvement, and identify threats to regional spread of the disease or certification.

The U.S. is the largest bilateral donor to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Polio eradication is part of USAID’s more comprehensive effort to reduce morbidity, mortality and disability due to vaccine-preventable diseases.

Read more about USAID’s approach to polio eradication and the 2010-2012 GPEI Strategic Plan endorsed by the World Health Assembly.

The text of the Protocol of Intent on Cooperation for the Global Eradication of Polio can be found here.

For more information on the US-Russia collaboration to end polio, please read the fact sheet.


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