World Health Assembly declares polio eradication a public health emergency

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By Stéphanie Tobler, RI Senior Media Relations Specialist Europe/Africa

Health ministers at the World Health Assembly in Geneva adopted a resolution on 25 May that declared “the completion of polio eradication to be a programmatic emergency for global public health.”

As a staff member in charge of public relations for Europe and Africa, I had the pleasure and honor of attending the briefing on the launch of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s emergency action plan at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, on 24 May. Rotary was represented by Past RI President Carl-Wilhelm Stenhammar.

After the briefing, a panel of experts answered journalists questions, posed for pictures, and quickly went back to their working groups. It was an exciting experience to be part of the briefing and to see how many people are fully committed to End Polio Now.

  • Read a statement of support by Dr. Robert Scott, chair of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee, for the World Health Assembly’s adoption of the resolution declaring polio eradication a global emergency for public health.
  • See an infographic illustrating how close the world is to eradicating polio and what’s needed to finish the job.

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