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With GPEI Plan, Polio Eradication May Finally Be Within Reach

“After 25 years of remarkable achievements and sometimes harrowing setbacks, a successful conclusion to global polio eradication could finally be within reach,” Nellie Bristol, a fellow with the Global Health Policy Center at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C., and J. Stephen Morrison, senior vice president and director of the Global Health Policy Center at CSIS, write in a CSIS commentary. “In late April, the Global Vaccine Summit in Abu Dhabi released the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) [plan], a promising new six-year strategy to win the polio ‘endgame,'” they note and describe the plan in detail. “This unprecedented mobilization may spark the momentum to stamp out the disease once and for all. But, as with most things associated with this long campaign, the outcome is still uncertain and much hard work remains,” they continue, highlighting a number of obstacles, such as funding and security concerns. “The challenge remains difficult, but armed with the new strategy and adequate funding, the GPEI has many of the tools it needs to be successful,” they state (5/1).