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Civil society organisations threaten to stop global Polio eradication initiative funding

Thursday, 25 October 2018

On the World Polio Day, 25 Civil Society Organizations have issued a stern warning on the diminishing impact of global efforts to eradicate Polio, in developing countries.

In fact, an epidemic has just been declared in 3 regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Polio is still endemic in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan!

As Polio has not been completely eradicated globally, it has resurfaced in the Democratic Republic of Congo where the health and vaccination systems are still not strong, and this offers no protection to populations who are traveling for various reasons.

Interventions must be strengthened, now more than ever, since the remaining virus pockets are a glaring risk that can lead to new infections if the disease is not eradicated completely. "The prevailing political crisis in the three countries has led to significant migration between countries, and is indeed a real risk that can enhance the spread," said Ferdinand TABI of PROVARESSC, Cameroon.

The organizations are also concerned by the ending of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative funding in 2020 as it will result into a drastic reduction in financial resources. This transition poses a threat to the health systems in many countries as the funding to eradicate Polio has been their main stay in the last decades.

However, there are some encouraging results too. Worldwide, more than 16 million people have been saved from paralysis and more than 1.5 million lives have been saved. The campaign is therefore encouraging all who can support current efforts and help create a Polio-free world to donate to Rotary International through The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will increase their donations (until 50 million USD each year), for the next two years.

The 33 days period stretching from October 11 to November 12 has important moments for immunization. The International Day of the Girl Child, World Polio Day and World Pneumonia day are great opportunities to push for greater immunization financing from our governments.

The “33 days to power up Immunization” is an initiative from Niyel that began in 2017 and which allows civil society organizations to engage either policymakers or the media in a push for greater domestic investment in immunization and accountability. Considering the regional ADI and the national commitments made by their political leaders, civil society organizations are using this period to assess progress to achieving universal access to immunization.
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