The Global Polio Eradication Initiative Progress Lessons Learned And Polio Legacy Transition Planning
Author: Stephen L. Cochi, Lea Hegg, Anjali Kaur, Carol Pandak, Hamid Jafari
The world is closer than ever to achieving global polio eradication, with record-low polio cases in 2015 and the impending prospect of a polio-free Africa. Tens of millions of volunteers, social mobilizers, and health workers have participated in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. The program contributes to efforts to deliver other health benefits, including health systems strengthening. As the initiative nears completion after more than twenty-five years, it becomes critical to document and transition the knowledge, lessons learned, assets, and infrastructure accumulated by the initiative to address other health goals and priorities. The primary goals of this process, known as polio legacy transition planning, are both to protect a polio-free world and to ensure that investments in polio eradication will contribute to other health goals after polio is completely eradicated. The initiative is engaged in an extensive transition process of consultations and planning at the global, regional, and country levels. A successful completion of this process will result in a well-planned and -managed conclusion of the initiative that will secure the global public good gained by ending one of the world’s most devastating diseases and ensure that these investments provide public health benefits for years to come.