Polio Endgame Strategy 2019-2023 to achieve, sustain polio-free world

ABU DHABI, 1st May, 2019 (WAM) — The Global Polio Eradication Initiative today launched the Polio Endgame Strategy 2019-20231, which will guide the programme and its partners to overcome the final hurdles to eradication and move toward sustaining a polio-free future.

In support of the strategy and to encourage additional commitments, a pledging event will be hosted this November at the ‘Reaching the Last Mile Forum’ in Abu Dhabi, a gathering of leaders from across the global health space held once every two years.

The event will be hosted with the support of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, a long-time champion of the polio programme.

The new plan hones in on addressing today’s most pressing obstacles to end poliovirus transmission imminently, integrate polio programme resources into health and development programmes globally, and certify the world polio-free.

In addition to building on the programme’s core strategies to expand access to vaccination and improve surveillance around the world, the 2019-2023 Endgame Strategy offers responsive and innovative solutions tailored to communities’ needs.

These include establishing a regional hub in Amman, Jordan, to enhance coordinated support to Afghanistan and Pakistan and creating permanent Rapid Response Teams to accelerate the programme’s response to outbreaks.

The programme will also work to improve immunisation coverage and support basic development needs through strengthened collaboration with immunisation partners such as Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the humanitarian and emergency response communities.

To reach its goals and achieve eradication, the Endgame Strategy requires a US$4.2 billion budget, of which US$3.27 billion is to be raised by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, GPEI.

The 2019-2023 Endgame Strategy builds on the 2013-2018 Strategic Plan, which brought the world to the brink of polio eradication. Despite this impressive progress, the last steps to eradication have proved to be the most difficult. Wild poliovirus transmission continues in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus outbreaks are ongoing in several countries across Africa and Asia.

To overcome these challenges, the new strategy must be fully implemented with sufficient resources and commitments from governments, donors, multilateral organisations, and local communities.

The Polio Endgame Strategy 2019-2023 will be discussed at the upcoming 2019 World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, on 20th May.

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