Polio Emergency Declaration Should Foster More Collaboration To End Disease

Noting the WHO’s declaration of polio as a global health emergency, Jay Wenger, director of the polio program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, writes in the foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog, “…This isn’t to say that the last mile [to polio eradication] is going to be easy. It hasn’t been and it will continue to be tough. At the same time we’re celebrating progress we haven’t seen before, we’re also dealing with challenges we haven’t seen before. … The sounding of an emergency often is seen as a sign of distress, and news of this announcement certainly communicated that. But what this alarm really signals is that working in close coordination we can do — and are doing — what it takes to end this disease as quickly as possible” (5/6).