Rotary International

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Meeting: 
144th session of the Executive Board<br>24 January - 1 February 2019
Agenda Item: 
5.3.1 Eradication
Statement: 

Your Excellencies … Ladies and Gentlemen:
Rotary welcomes the update on global polio eradication. Rotary remains concerned about the uptick in polio cases in 2018 and outbreaks of cVDPV. We remain confident in the capacity of the GPEI and countries to overcome these obstacles. The GPEI has been challenged to act with the urgency befitting a global emergency, and to translate this priority emphasis operationally at every level of the program.

We applaud Dr. Tedros for traveling to Afghanistan and Pakistan to urge focus on polio eradication as a top priority for 2019. Fragile and vulnerable regions; weak primary health care and anti-vaccination movements - three of the top ten challenges to global health identified by WHO - are all hampering our ability to eradicate polio. The forthcoming strategy will build on the known best practices, recent innovations, and continued transformations needed to overcome these remaining hurdles to achieve and secure a polio free world.

There are no “silver bullet” solutions. Success will require consistent, high quality execution of the fundamental strategies together with targeted, tailored strategies in discreet, high risk priority areas. Strong country ownership remains essential.
We must position the GPEI for success by ensuring that the material, financial and human resources needed are available. And we must strengthen alliances beyond our traditional partnerships to overcome hurdles and ensure lasting success. Rotary applauds Gavi’s closer collaboration with the GPEI. We encourage the GPEI to leverage synergies with others working on global health and development.

In an extraordinary letter, the leaders of the SAGE, GCC, IHR and IMB affirmed that we have the expertise and experience to overcome any obstacle. They challenged us to perfect known strategies, identify new solutions, and to be unrelenting in our focus. Let us embrace this challenge to be bold and ambitious
in our efforts to end polio forever.