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Opinion Pieces Recognize World Polio Day, Discuss Issues Surrounding Disease’s Eradication

VOA News: World Polio Day: How Far We’ve Come, What’s Left to Do
Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“…We’re tantalizingly close to eradicating polio — but we are not there yet. [World Polio Day] is a good day to recognize our successes, reaffirm our commitment, and take stock of what’s needed to reach the ultimate goal of ending polio once and for all. … We are committed to overcoming the final obstacles to eradicating polio forever and ensuring that children everywhere live free from this terrible disease. To end polio forever, all countries must strengthen vaccine service delivery, address gaps in disease surveillance, and do more to reach children missed by vaccination programs…” (10/23).

Devex: Humanitarian diplomacy offers the olive branch needed in today’s violent world
John Hewko, general secretary of Rotary International and the Rotary Foundation

“…From Sri Lanka to Syria and Nigeria, [humanitarian] diplomacy — as practiced by members of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and its partners, which has reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent since its launch in 1988 — is creating new models and tactics for humanitarian organizations. The best practices of humanitarian diplomacy aim to achieve sustainable results by combining top-level negotiations with local peace initiatives. … [T]he coalition-building and agile engagement strategies of humanitarian diplomacy will be crucial in achieving many of the benchmarks of the Sustainable Development Goals” (10/23).

Huffington Post: The U.S. Government Must Continue to Lead Efforts to End Polio
Justine Lucas, global programs director at the Global Poverty Project

“…With less than one percent of polio cases remaining, it is absolutely critical that the United States government continues investing in polio eradication efforts. Our government’s investment in polio eradication is the only way to yield the ultimate return: future generations of children free from this devastating disease. … Eradication cannot be taken for granted — as we have seen through previous setbacks, seeing the end of polio forever will require every country to play a key role. Now is the time for the United States, and other key donors, to continue their tremendous support for polio eradication efforts and consider increases as necessary to eradicate this disease once and for all” (10/24).

The Hill: Prime Minister Sharif can make polio eradication his legacy
Mubasher Rana, president of the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America

“…While there are encouraging signs that the government of Pakistan and other high-level leaders in the country have made polio eradication a priority, there is an urgent need for a redoubled commitment at all levels to overcome the remaining challenges. This includes direct oversight from Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who [was] in Washington, D.C., [last] week for an official White House visit. … Polio can be eradicated, and Pakistan has an incredible opportunity to bring the world over the finish line. By building on recent momentum, and with the support of the international community, Pakistan can show us all what’s possible when we commit to a goal…” (10/23).

Forbes: A Tragedy The World Will Celebrate
Devin Thorpe, Forbes contributor

“…Friday, Rotary and UNICEF held their annual World Polio Day to celebrate the progress being made in the global effort to eradicate the disease … While [polio] could not be eradicated without an effective vaccine … credit must also be given to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, the team of organizations that has been working to end polio since the mid-1980s. … With the world focused intently on the eradication of polio, every case is scrutinized. … A focused effort will be required this winter to bring an end to polio…” (10/25).

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