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U.S. Must Continue ‘To Lead By Example’ To Immunize World’s Children

“[T]he progress UNICEF has made [in Cameroon] to prevent polio infections shows exactly what we’re capable of when we work hand-in-hand with the U.N. — and when the U.S. does not have to go it alone,” Peter Yeo, vice president of public policy at the United Nations Foundation, writes in an opinion piece in The Hill’s “Congress Blog.” He continues, “By partnering with UNICEF and other global health partners, the U.S. is helping expand the use of under-utilized vaccines and accelerate the introduction of new ones worldwide. … Thanks to USAID and support from their partners, more than 100 million children now receive a basic set of immunizations every year, and tens of millions receive supplemental vaccines against polio, measles, and other devastating diseases.” Yeo discusses the “particularly successful” campaign against polio, notes the Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s six-year plan to eradicate the disease, and says, “Polio is a global disease that requires a global solution, plain and simple.” He concludes, “We have the opportunity to give more children the chance to lead healthy, disease-free lives, if — and only if — the U.S. continues to lead by example” (4/29).