Global Health Centre

Polio Eradication: Lessons for Global Health

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World Health Summit 2019

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Beginning in 1988, the global effort to eradicate polio is the largest, longest and most expensive public health program in history. Intense efforts are still underway to complete eradication within the period of the renewed Polio Endgame Strategy 2019-2023, for which the Global Polio Eradication Initiative budget totals USD 4.2 billion. The eventual closure of the polio eradication initiative will have profound programmatic, financial and human implications, particularly for the following entities: the World Health Organization, individual countries working to strengthen their national health systems, and development partners. To ensure eradication is achieved and sustained, it is essential that program capacities and assets are both maintained and integrated into countries' health systems. Specific polio assets which lend themselves for such a transition include, amongst others, laboratories, skilled human resources, managerial and technical systems. Utilizing these assets to strengthen health systems in general can contribute to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Universal Health Coverage, and other international and national health initiatives.


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