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Positive Outlook, Support For Change In Polio Programs Important For Eradication Efforts

A new report from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) “has concluded that the major obstacle to eradication is not political or scientific or monetary, but something seemingly mundane — bad management,” health reporter Andre Picard writes in his Globe and Mail column, adding that “the panel offers concrete proposals for what needs to be done to close the deal.” He continues, “The fundamental problem though, according to the expert panel, is that the global eradication effort is overeager to celebrate the successes (like India) and ignore the failures (like Pakistan).”

The “dilemma for boosters of polio eradication” is “to maintain a facade of optimism if they are going to keep the money flowing from donors” while changing “the culture and approach of the global program,” Picard writes. “What these donors need to do, though, is not abandon hope, but rather make their continued support contingent on the type of change the expert panel is demanding,” he states, concluding, “The worst thing that could happen is for the 23 years of effort to go to waste when we are indeed on the cusp of [ending] polio” (10/25).

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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.