Big lesson from polio eradication: Partnerships work

What #EndPolio lessons can be applied to other health challenges? Devex Impact associate editor Adva Saldinger asks polio eradication advocates.

With an end to polio on the horizon, advocates discuss how efforts to contain the disease can be learned from and applied to other global health challenges.

John Hewko, Rotary International general secretary, told Devex that partnerships are key. When Rotary formed alliances with different groups — for example the World Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — “each partner had a very clearly defined goal and objective in that partnership,” he said.

Minda Dentler, polio survivor, athlete and speaker, said the power of people coming together from both the private and public sectors helped in ending polio.

Meanwhile, Jeff Kluger, health and science editor at Time Magazine, said that efforts to eradicate polio has taught the world a sense of community responsibility, which has wider practical applications even beyond health challenges.

Watch the clip above for more, with responses from Rotary International’s PolioPlus Committee Chair Mike McGovern, The Doctors co-host Jennifer Berman, author and Forbes contributor Devin Thorpe, and musician and City University of New York professor Salman Ahmed.

Ending a Global Disease is a conversation hosted by Devex, in partnership with Rotary International, to explore successes in the fight against polio and identify lessons that can be applied to overcoming other global diseases. Visit the campaign site and join the conversation using #endpolio.

About the author

  • Jacques Jimeno

    Jacques is a former copy editor at Devex’s news production team. Previously, he worked with the Philippine Department of Tourism and the World Wide Fund for Nature.

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