Polio Eradication 'At Risk' As Chad And Pakistan Face Continued Outbreaks, GPEI Report Says

“According to the latest report from the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), continued transmission of polio is a ‘global health emergency,’ and plans to interrupt transmission by the end of 2012 are ‘at risk,'” the Lancet Infectious Diseases reports, adding, “With a US$590 million funding gap and weak political leadership in some countries, the engagement of communities to plan and implement local approaches is paramount.”

“Notable progress has been made in India and Afghanistan, but the situation in Chad is ‘particularly alarming,’ says the IMB, while ‘Pakistan risks becoming the last global outpost of this vicious disease,'” the journal writes (Morris, September 2011). According to IRIN, “Pakistan has seen a rising number of polio cases since 2007, with 69 reported so far this year as against 37 in the same period of 2010.” The article says insecurity is a major cause because it hinders the movement of vaccination teams (8/22).