Why The World Needs To Come Together To Fight Polio
Civil Society Organisations (CSO) have issued a stern warning on the diminishing impact of global efforts to eradicate Polio in developing countries.
Their warning came as countries mark this year’s World Polio Day.
At least 25 CSOs expressed fears over the declaration of polio epidemic in three regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo. They also said Polio was still endemic in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.
They are advising nations to strengthen interventions now more than ever, since the remaining virus pockets are a glaring risk that could lead to new infections if the disease is not eradicated completely.
In a statement endorsed by at least 18 of them, they emphasised that Polio had resurfaced in the Democratic Republic of Congo where the health and vaccination systems were still not strong.
They believe the situation offers no protection to populations who are travelling for various reasons and suggested that "interventions must be strengthened, now more than ever, since the remaining virus pockets are a glaring risk that can lead to new infections if the disease is not eradicated completely".
"The prevailing political crisis in the three countries has led to significant migration between countries and is indeed a real risk that can enhance the spread," said Ferdinand Tabi of PROVARESSC, Cameroon.
The organisations are also concerned over the decision to end the Global Polio Eradication Initiative funding in 2020, saying it will result into a drastic reduction in financial resources.
Despite all of this, the group expressed gratitude for the success recorded so far in fighting polio.
“Worldwide, more than 16 million people have been saved from paralysis and more than 1.5 million lives have been saved.
“The campaign is therefore encouraging all who can support current efforts and help create a Polio-free world to donate to Rotary International through endpolio.org.''
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