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J Infect Dis. 2014 Nov 1;210 Suppl 1:S540-6. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiu345.

Global polio eradication initiative: lessons learned and legacy.

Author information

1
Global Immunization Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.
2
Polio Operations and Research Department.
3
Polio Team, United Nations Children's Fund, New York, New York.
4
Polio and Emergencies, and Country Collaboration, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.

Abstract

The world is on the verge of achieving global polio eradication. During >25 years of operations, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) has mobilized and trained millions of volunteers, social mobilizers, and health workers; accessed households untouched by other health initiatives; mapped and brought health interventions to chronically neglected and underserved communities; and established a standardized, real-time global surveillance and response capacity. It is important to document the lessons learned from polio eradication, especially because it is one of the largest ever global health initiatives. The health community has an obligation to ensure that these lessons and the knowledge generated are shared and contribute to real, sustained changes in our approach to global health. We have summarized what we believe are 10 leading lessons learned from the polio eradication initiative. We have the opportunity and obligation to build a better future by applying the lessons learned from GPEI and its infrastructure and unique functions to other global health priorities and initiatives. In so doing, we can extend the global public good gained by ending for all time one of the world's most devastating diseases by also ensuring that these investments provide public health dividends and benefits for years to come.

KEYWORDS:

legacy; lessons learned; polio eradication

PMID:
25316878
DOI:
10.1093/infdis/jiu345
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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