E.U.’s Renewed Support To Global Polio Eradication Initiative Critical To Ending Disease

EurActiv: The E.U. can choose to defeat polio
John Hewko, general secretary of Rotary International

“…[U]ntil polio is eradicated, all countries remain at risk. Europe is no exception, and the sixteen deaths caused by a polio outbreak in Albania in 1996, which spread to Greece and Kosovo, are a harsh reminder of this fact. … This highlights the constant risk of importation, even in countries where polio has been eradicated for decades. The European Union can counter this threat in two ways: by ensuring high routine immunization rates, and by supporting the [Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI)] at this critical time. … Polio eradication will further the goals of the Global Health Security Agenda, a project to which many E.U. member states are committed. … Failure to act now means polio will continue to claim thousands of victims with huge human and financial costs. But renewed support will ensure no child will ever again suffer from a disease which is completely preventable…” (5/5).