Ending polio one community at a time

By Jacques Jimeno 12 November 2015

UNICEF Executive Director Tony Lake tells Devex Impact associate editor Adva Saldinger how the work of health staff in the communities is crucial in ending a global disease.

Social mobilization was the backbone of polio eradication efforts with health workers, combating polio “community by community by community,” UNICEF Executive Director Tony Lake told Devex Impact associate editor Adva Saldinger in an exclusive interview.

Understanding the community structure was crucial to reach traditional and religious leaders, the UNICEF chief said.

#EndPolio initiatives have made great strides toward global eradication in recent times. With Nigeria not registering a single new case of polio for a full year and on the cusp of being declared completely polio free in 2017, Pakistan and Afghanistan are today the last remaining countries facing endemic polio.

Watch the clip above to learn more about what UNICEF looks for in future partners and how technology can be leveraged to achieve global development goals.

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

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Jacques Jimeno

Jacques is a copy editor at Devex’s news production team. Previously, he worked with the Philippine Department of Tourism and the World Wide Fund for Nature. He is currently taking his master’s degree in communication from the University of the Philippines Diliman.


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