Humanity is on the verge of one of the greatest public health accomplishments in history: eradicating polio. In 1988, there were 350,000 cases in 125 countries, yet in 2018, there were 33 in just two. Despite this incredible progress, we have yet to stop transmission in the most difficult-to-reach areas in the world, and the detection of even a single polio case anywhere shows that vaccination is still needed.
But the last few steps will be the hardest, as polio exists in some of the most difficult-to-reach areas in the world. Failure to eradicate polio could lead to a global resurgence of the disease with as many as 200,000 new cases expected every year.
The UK Government has long been a leader on global public health, contributing to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), as well as supporting other vital global health funds. The GPEI has recently developed a new strategy to drive progress to a polio free world over the next five years. Please write to new DFID Minister Dr. Andrew Murrison MP, asking him to continue the UK’s global health leadership by pledging £400 million to the GPEI’s work, as part of the UK’s commitment to Universal Health Coverage.