Funding Cut May Spoil Strides in Polio Eradication - Experts

A child getting vaccinated for polio. Global health experts are worried about a funding shotfall for polio in the next three years. Photo by: Paula Bronstein / UNICEF

Global health experts have expressed concern over the USD1.3 billion funding shortfall for polio in the next three years as stakeholders meet at Geneva June 18 to launch the 2010-2012 strategic plan for polio eradication.

The funding gap may cut back or delay anti-polio projects, thus failing to build on the gains achieved in the past, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative said.

Polio outbreaks had been stopped across Africa in 2009, Nigeria’s polio cases dropped by 99 percent, and endemic states in India have not reported any cases in the past six months, according to GPEI data.

Health ministers from Nigeria, Afghanistan, Angola and Senegal as well as a number of other senior health ministry officials, donors, and vaccine manufacturers will discuss the new plan.

The event is co-hosted by World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan and UNICEF Executive Director Tony Lake.

About the author

  • Chiden Balmes

    Chiden, a correspondent based in Seoul, focuses on computer-assisted reporting to provide international development professionals with practical business and career information. He also contributes to the Development Newswire and the Global Development Briefing, two of the world's highest-circulation development publications.