Polio eradication has been one of the greatest success stories of global vaccine delivery. While preventing an estimated 16 million polio infections since 1988, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) has at the same time developed valuable public health infrastructure and trained thousands of health workers around the world. These tools are already addressing diseases other than polio and have the potential to control outbreaks at their source, contributing enormously to global health security for generations to come. Yet eradication remains elusive and the valuable tools created by the polio program are at a risk of being lost if not reintegrated with immunization systems.
The CSIS Global Health Policy Center critically examines U.S. leadership and international approaches to global poliovirus eradication, offering expert analysis concerning the unique challenges faced by Afghanistan and Pakistan as the last countries to interrupt polio transmission, and insights on how existing polio assets could be sustained and repurposed for other global health priorities as countries become polio free.
Building Global Health Capacity Through Polio Eradication
In this series of seven longform analyses, the CSIS Global Health Policy Center examined public health interventions for which the U.S. government provided significant backing, either financially or through technical support. Each section examines an individual asset, explaining what it is, how it is contributing to polio eradication and to addressing other health issues, and what some of the challenges are to their continuation. Overall, the site highlights the formidable leadership and support CDC and USAID have offered toward eradication. It also illustrates how polio assets already are aiding countries in preventing, detecting, and responding to disease outbreaks and what would be needed for them to be sustained into the future.