WHO: Last mile to eradicate polio once and for all

11 January, 2019

Extracts below. Full text here: https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/08-01-2019-%E2%80%9Czero-polio-tran...

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Last mile to eradicate polio once and for all

8 January 2019

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has just returned from a 4-day visit to Afghanistan and Pakistan where he highlighted WHO's commitment to the final push to eradicate polio. These are the only two countries where wild poliovirus cases were reported last year.

"We must all give our best on this last mile to eradicate polio once and for all.

My wish for 2019 is for zero polio transmission.You have full WHO's support to help reach every child and stop this virus for good."

- Dr Tedros

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus highlighted WHO’s commitment to the final push to eradicate polio on a 4-day visit to Afghanistan and Pakistan - the only two countries where wild poliovirus cases were reported last year. He also commended the governments of both countries for their efforts to provide universal access to health services...

“We must all give our best on this last mile to eradicate polio once and for all. My wish for 2019 is for zero polio transmission. You have WHO’s full support to help reach every child and stop this virus for good,” Dr Tedros said...

Dr Tedros accompanied the President of Pakistan, Arif Alvi, to the launch of the first Pakistan Nursing and Midwifery Summit and the Nursing Now campaign. Pakistan faces a critical shortage of health workers including nurses and midwives. The country needs more than 720 000 nurses to achieve universal health coverage by 2030...

Polio eradication requires high immunization coverage everywhere, worldwide, to block transmission of this extremely contagious virus. Unfortunately, children are still missing out on vaccination for various reasons including lack of infrastructure, remote locations, population movement, conflict and insecurity and resistance to vaccination...

Failure to eradicate polio from these last remaining strongholds could result in a resurgence of the disease, with as many as 200 000 new cases predicted worldwide every year within 10 years.

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Best wishes, Neil

CHIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is the coordinator of the HIFA campaign (Healthcare Information For All) and assistant moderator of the CHIFA forum. He is current chair of the Dgroups Foundation (www.dgroups.info), which supports 700 communities of practice for international development, social justice and global health. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org