Global Health Council, Inc.
GHC with support from ACTION, AAP and NCD Child welcome WHO’s renewed internal efforts to increase support for polio transition planning. We acknowledge progress on transition activities in priority countries, however we encourage WHO to be more ambitious. Covering and filling gaps to ensure polio transition planning is a priority, while evaluating current immunisation and health needs to efficiently meet current and future needs. Greater progress towards health equity and accelerating progress towards the SDGs is essential. We acknowledge high level stakeholder meetings as important parts of this process and encourage WHO to ensure that follow up meetings consider country-specific challenges, as they relate to the four priority activities. Future meetings should include a wider range of stakeholders, including governments and civil society. Henceforth, we request further details on the work of the High-Level Steering Committee and expected outcome. GPEI and WHO financial responsibilities remain uncertain. The document refers to GPEI fundraising efforts for lower-risk, high-priority countries, but where commitments lie for fundraising short and long term for transition are still unclear. Additionally, although polio transition budget increased by $227 million, based on submitted transition plans, this is insufficient. Considering the vast efforts made at country level to develop and implement fundraising strategies which may now need to be adapted, risks political will and capital with country governments and donors. We strongly suggest a global governance mechanism for polio transition be established to guide and oversee the next 10 years. This mechanism should ensure transition plans and activities from GPEI partners, donors, civil society and countries are aligned and focused on strengthening essential immunization systems, set global transition goals and targets, track country transition progress, and be responsible for holding all global partners accountable.