We Must Celebrate the End of Polio – but the End of Polio Funding Puts Other Programmes at Risk
At the centre of these [polio eradication] efforts is the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), which, with a budget of more than $1 billion a year and a presence in 16 countries, has spearheaded the fight against the disease with the polio vaccine. But GPEI’s work goes much further than vaccines.
Since the initiative’s inception in 1988, many of the 20 million volunteers who have been trained to administer polio vaccines have also delivered other essential vaccinations and health interventions.
For example, GPEI-trained health workers have delivered 1.3 billion doses of vitamin A, which have helped save 1.5 million lives and reaped up to $17 billion in economic benefits.