Who We Are: CDC and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative
CDC and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative
Through partnership more can be accomplished.
“Let’s act and let’s act with an eye to results. We must all dedicate ourselves to writing this final chapter and closing the book on polio forever. For every child.”
— Tony Lake, Executive Director, UNICEF.
In 1988, the World Health Assembly adopted a resolution for the worldwide eradication of polio. It marked the launch of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI)External, spearheaded by national governments, CDC, Rotary International, WHO, and UNICEF, with substantial support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
CDC provides technical assistance for polio outbreak response, surveillance reviews, strategy refinement through innovative research, and vaccination campaign planning, monitoring, and evaluation. CDC also provides virological surveillance expertise (genetic fingerprinting) to investigate polio cases, identify the strain of poliovirus involved, and pinpoint genetic and transmission linkages.
In 1985, Rotary InternationalExternal created PolioPlus—a program to immunize all the world’s children against polio. To date, Rotary has contributed more than $1 billion and countless volunteer hours to immunize children.
WHOExternal, through its headquarters, regional and country offices, helps coordinate the major strategic planning, management and administrative processes. WHO collects, collates and disseminates standardized information on strategy implementation and impact, particularly in the areas of surveillance and vaccination campaigns, coordination of research, building of capacity and direct operational support to countries.
UNICEFExternal leads communication and social mobilization responsibilities for the GPEI. Working with partners to build community and household demand for immunization, UNICEF focuses on reaching children who are most at risk of being missed with oral polio vaccine with the support of more than 12,000 in-country social mobilizers.
Other Major Polio Partners
More About GPEI
The Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013–2018External is a comprehensive, long-term strategy that addresses what is needed to deliver a polio-free world by 2018.
The plan was developed by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in consultation with national health authorities, global health initiatives, scientific experts, donors and other stakeholders, in response to a directive of the World Health Assembly.
The Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018 addresses the eradication of all polio disease, whether caused by wild poliovirus or circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus, while planning for the backbone of the polio effort to be used for delivering other health services to the world’s most vulnerable children.
GPEI’s Four Pillars of Eradication
GPEI defines four pillars of polio eradication:
- Routine immunization:
High infant immunization coverage with four doses of oral polio vaccine (OPV) in the first year of life in developing and endemic countries, and routine immunization with OPV and/or IPV elsewhere.
- Supplementary immunization:
Organization of “National immunization days” to provide supplementary doses of oral polio vaccine to all children less than five years of age.
Active surveillance for wild poliovirus through reporting and laboratory testing of all cases of acute flaccid paralysis among children less than fifteen years of age.
- Targeted “mop-up” campaigns:
Targeted “mop-up” campaigns once wild poliovirus transmission is limited to a specific focal area.