Can we eradicate polio by the end of 2012?

Burnet Institute

28 July, 2011

Dr Chris Maher,(third from right) with the team from the Global Poverty Project.

Dr Maher presented a progress report to Burnet Institute staff saying polio can eventually be eradicated but the program needs a huge boost in funding.

“The biggest problem is the $590 million we don’t have for activities from now until the end of 2012. If we don’t get that funding, it will compromise efforts to eradicate polio,” Dr Maher said.

“We’re not on track but it is still possible if political and financial concerns can be addressed.”

Dr Maher listed a few steps that need to be taken to get back on track in the eradication program, which includes ‘finishing India’.

For the first time in history, India has gone six months with no cases of polio being reported, but Dr Maher expects a case to come up in the ‘high season’.

Dr Maher also called for intensive support for the implementation of the Pakistan Emergency Action Plan and to change programs in re-established transmission countries (Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola) to be more like the programs associated with endemic countries.

“The program in Nigeria needs to be put back on the rails, momentum was lost during the elections earlier this year,” Dr Maher said.

“We also need to get back in the game in Chad, Pakistan and Democratic Republic of Congo.”

For more information on the global polio eradication program, visit WHO’s website or

Contact Details

For more information in relation to this news article, please contact:

Professor Michael Toole AM

Honorary Staff member


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