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Global, Sustained Commitment Vital To Ending Polio, Improving Future Global Health Security

Project Syndicate: Why Can’t We End Polio?
Ilona Kickbusch, director and adjunct professor, Stephen Matlin, senior fellow, and Michaela Told, executive director, all at the Global Health Center at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies

“…Politicians and policymakers should be reminded that a polio-free world would be a global public good, that eradication is by far the best bargain, and that sustained financing and political support is necessary to ensure the [Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s (GPEI)] success. But it is also important to ensure that valuable assets and practices built up by the GPEI over time are not squandered once polio is gone. … [C]ountries will be able to absorb GPEI assets into their health systems only if they are supported financially, logistically, and politically. … Doing so would not only boost global health security and resilience for the next outbreak; it would also help us reach the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal for universal health care coverage. … World Polio Day is thus an occasion to urge politicians to renew their commitments to polio eradication, and to apply lessons from the GPEI to improve health everywhere…” (10/20).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.