World Polio Day23/10/15
Irish Aid has allocated €17 million to the World Health Organization Global Polio Eradication Initiative since 2006.
World Polio Day takes place on Saturday 24 October 2015 at a time when we are in a stronger position than ever to ending polio forever. Irish Aid has provided €17 million to the World Health Organization Global Polio Eradication Initiative since 2006 to develop the capacity of the world’s least developed countries to build sustainable healthcare systems and support the final push to eradicate polio in the world.
We have seen historic progress in the work to stop polio once and for all this year, and today, the vast majority of the world is polio-free. A disease that once paralysed 1,000 children each day is almost history. For the first time in history, the entire African continent has marked one year without reporting a single child paralyzed by the wild poliovirus.
The path to eradication is not easy. Conflict and increasing insecurity in parts of the world have made it more difficult for health workers to reach all children with polio vaccines. At the same time weak public health and routine immunization systems have left many children insufficiently vaccinated, resulting in outbreaks. It is fitting that World Polio Day 2015 specifically recognises the health workers who continue to work tirelessly and courageously to reach all children with polio vaccines.
Irish Aid has allocated €17 million to the World Health Organization Global Polio Eradication Initiative since 2006
While a recent review by Global Polio Eradication Initiative found that significant progress has been made toward eradication, some critical challenges remain. These include a focus on building stronger surveillance to ensure we’re finding every last trace of the virus.
Effective and cost-efficient vaccination requires a functioning health system and Ireland continues to prioritise health system strengthening through its investments in other global health initiatives, bilateral programmes and civil society organisations. Promoting the need to build resilient and sustainable health systems, Ireland places particular emphasis on human resources for health through its longstanding support of the Global Health Workforce Alliance.
Ireland’s ongoing support to both the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and the Gavi Vaccine Alliance aims to ensure that access to life-saving vaccinations, one of the most cost-effective investments in public health and global development, is ensured for all children.