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Efforts To Eradicate Polio Need International Financial Support

Noting that polio is endemic in only Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria, and the WHO recently declared the disease a “programmatic emergency” to “galvanize work” in those three countries, a Washington Post editorial states, “A renewed campaign [against the disease] will be costly.” The editorial notes, “The Global Polio Eradication Initiative, set up in 1988 by the WHO, UNICEF, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Rotary International, says that it needs an additional $945 million for a total budget of $2.19 billion this year and next.”

The editorial cites examples of increased support from the U.S. Government, Rotary International, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and writes, “These examples and the urgency of the cause will hopefully inspire other donors around the world to fill the budget gap.” The editorial concludes, “Stamping out polio is not a sure thing, but this may be the best chance in a generation. It should not be missed for lack of resources” (6/14).