U.S. Should Continue Its Investment In Global Polio Eradication Efforts

“All Americans should take pride in the fact that the world is on the verge of eradicating polio, and finishing the job for good has never been more achievable,” Tufts Health Plan President and CEO James Roosevelt writes in The Hill’s “Global Affairs” blog. “Thanks in large part to U.S. leadership, the world is now more than 99 percent of the way to polio eradication,” Roosevelt says, noting the U.S. government “has contributed more than $2.1 billion to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) since 1985.” He continues, “With success clearly in sight, the global community is uniting around a new plan to achieve a polio-free world this decade. Supporting this final push to eradicate polio is one of the best investments the U.S. can make.”

“The endgame plan, … released by GPEI this month, is a detailed and carefully thought-out road map to eliminate polio from the three countries where it remains,” Roosevelt notes. “In this tough economic environment, the U.S. has a duty to focus only on investments that are cost-effective, and the polio endgame plan passes this test,” he continues, adding, “Eradicating polio would not just save lives, it would also save money.” He writes, “Continued U.S. leadership on polio eradication is crucial because it drives support from other partners,” concluding, “Achieving a polio-free world is a major step toward protecting the world’s children from all vaccine-preventable diseases. It’s an investment that the U.S. has been making for decades. Now, at the cusp of victory and with the world with us, is not the time to step back” (4/8).