News / Africa

Global Initiative Unveils Six-Year Plan to Eradicate Polio

Rotary Polio Vaccination Day in Kaduna, Nigeria (Rotary International)
Rotary Polio Vaccination Day in Kaduna, Nigeria (Rotary International)

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua
A new campaign has been announced to eradicate polio. The six-year plan costing $5.5 billion was unveiled Thursday at the Global Vaccine Summit in Abu Dhabi.


The Global Polio Initiative says the plan is the first that aims to eradicate all types of polio – the wild poliovirus and vaccine derived cases. Health officials say on rare occasions, the live, but weakened poliovirus in the oral vaccine may genetically alter in the immunized person’s gut triggering the disease.

If all the funding comes through, more than one billion children could be vaccinated. UNICEF, the U.N. children’s fund, describes ending polio as a historic feat for humanity.

“This is really the beginning of the end. We’re tantalizingly close to eradicating polio and really making history. So it’s an extraordinary opportunity,” said UNICEF spokesperson Sarah Crowe.

"Never before have there been fewer cases in fewer places,” she said.

There were 223 cases reported last year and just 19 so far this year.

“We must seize this opportunity because if we don’t make history – and we last made history, the grand we, was smallpox. The last time a disease was eradicated,” she said.

That was 1979. But the world was close to polio eradication before. It was nearly achieved in 2005, but immunization faltered in some countries, like Nigeria. So what’s different now?

Crowed said, “Because we’ve never been as close. We’re down now to three endemic countries in the world – Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. And in those cases there are really just a handful of children who have been affected by polio this year. So we’ve never seen that kind of a drop-off in history.”

At the Global Vaccine Summit, leaders and philanthropists have pledged nearly three-quarters of the funding. $1.5 billion in pledges is still needed.

The polio eradication plan is seen as part of an overall effort to provide vaccines to children around the world.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid