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130414 Polio eradication and endgame strategic plan 2013-2018


130414 Polio eradication and endgame strategic plan 2013-2018

Draft, as at 14 April 2013
Global Polio Eradication Initiative

Since its launch at the World Health Assembly (WHA) in 1988, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) has reduced the global incidence of polio by more than 99% and the number of countries with endemic polio from 125 to 3. More than 10 million people are walking today who otherwise would have been paralysed.

At the beginning of 2013, polio – a highly infectious viral disease that causes swift and irreversible paralysis – was a distant memory in most of the world. The year 2012 ended with the fewest polio cases in the fewest countries ever; now is the best opportunity to finally put an end to this terrible, yet preventable, disease. On 26 May 2012, the World Health Assembly declared ending polio a “programmatic emergency for global public health”. Noting India’s success using available tools and technology, the threat to the global community of ongoing poliovirus transmission in the last three endemic countries – Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan – and the growing knowledge about and risk of circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (cVDPVs), which can cause outbreaks of paralytic disease, the WHA called on the World Health Organization Director-General to develop and finalize a comprehensive polio endgame strategy.

The Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018 (the Plan) was developed to capitalize on this new opportunity to end all polio disease. It accounts for the parallel pursuit of wild poliovirus eradication and cVDPV elimination, while planning for the backbone of the polio effort to be used for delivering other health services to the world’s most vulnerable children.