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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2013 Jun 21;62(24):501-3.

The global polio eradication initiative Stop Transmission of Polio (STOP) program - 1999-2013.


In 1988, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) was established through a partnership between the World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, CDC, and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). By 2012, the annual incidence of polio had decreased by >99%, compared with 1988, and the number of countries in which wild poliovirus (WPV) circulation has never been interrupted was reduced to three: Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan. However, because of the persistence of endemic WPV transmission and recurring outbreaks in polio-free countries after the original polio eradication target date of 2000, the World Health Assembly in 2012 declared the completion of polio eradication a programmatic emergency. A key component of GPEI is the Stop Transmission of Polio (STOP) program, which was developed and initiated by CDC with WHO in 1999 to mobilize additional human resources and technical assistance for countries affected by WPV transmission. During 1999-2013, 1,563 volunteers were identified, trained, and deployed for 2,221 assignments in 69 countries. The number of volunteers increased from 90-120 per year during 1999-2011 to 287 in 2012 and 378 in 2013, and the number of volunteer person-months in the field per year increased from 273 in 1999 to 1,456 in 2012. The STOP program has aided GPEI by strengthening the capacity of country-level immunization programs and by allowing a large cohort of volunteers to gain valuable field experience that prepares them well for subsequent work as staff members of WHO, UNICEF, and other public health agencies.

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