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    Polio Talks At WHO Board: Between Progress Made, The Final Push And The Role Of Partnership

    Published on 3 February 2013 @ 7:09 pm

    By for Intellectual Property Watch

    On the occasion of the 132nd session of the World Health Organization Executive Board last week, delegations welcomed the efforts made by the international community to eradicate poliomyelitis (polio), but saw room for improvement. As a way forward, they looked to the key role played by WHO partners.

    WHO Director General Margaret Chan, along with many delegations, acknowledged the support provided by many partners – from the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI Alliance), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Rotary International – and warmly thanked them for their contribution in the fight against polio.

    WHO Director General recalled that at the last World Health Assembly in May 2012, polio eradication was declared an emergency. Last week, the WHO secretariat presented a report on the progress made and remaining challenges in the fight against polio. As a result of the global movement to eradicate this disease affecting children under 5 years old, the number of country infected has drastically decreased. Today, only Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria remain affected.

    Many delegations also firmly insisted on the final actions required to transform the positive results witnessed into the concrete eradication of polio. For them, the remaining challenges range from the need to address the threat of trans-border spread of the disease to the necessity of a renewed financial and technical support and political commitment of the WHO, its Member States and donors.

    Many delegations – like Canada and the United States – expressed their concerns about the trans-border dissemination of polio. The US urged WHO members to implement the WHO’s recommendation on the vaccination of travellers.

    Mozambique – speaking on behalf of the WHO Africa region – insisted on the need to mainstream the current mechanisms into polio eradication strategies. China advocated for strengthened surveillance at the borders.  Monaco described the positive impact of vaccination measures taken by Pakistan and Nigeria at their airports and land-crossing borders. Pakistan explained that last year it implemented transit vaccination actions at strategic points like airports and bus stops.

    The US insisted on the positive impact that routine vaccination offers and explained that India eradicated polio to a large extent through this tool.

    The delegations of Qatar, Panama and Nigeria were among those that highlighted the important role international community plays in the fight against polio and asked for its renewed financial support. For instance, Nigeria said it would welcome a decision of the WHO to have more staff working on the polio issue.

    Beyond the need for financial resources, some delegations presented alternative modes of support. Iran asked the WHO and countries able to do so to transfer technologies to countries in need. Brazil shared its example and explained how it has donated vaccines to assist countries in need.

    Morocco along with Australia insisted that economic support alone is not enough. They stressed the importance of governments’ political will and commitment.

    China insisted on the increased role that the WHO secretariat – through the development of information and data-sharing mechanisms – should play.

    Many WHO member states made clear that the participation of partners is crucial in the fight against polio and they insisted that the eradication can only be achieved through partnership.

    However, the predominant role of partner institutions can also be seen as potentially in contradiction to the overall aim of WHO’s reform – also discussed by the Board last week- which is to permit the WHO to keep its central coordination role in the global public health domain (IPW, WHO, 18 January 2013). The different allocations of delegations tend to demonstrate that on the polio issue, the WHO acts more like a player than like the coach.

     

    Tiphaine Nunzia Caulier may be reached at info@ip-watch.ch.

     

    Comments

    1. WHO Executive Board Concludes After ‘Unpredecented’ Workload | Intellectual Property Watch says:

      [...] [Editor's Note: an update on polio was published here (IPW, WHO, 3 February 2013).] [...]


    Leave a Reply

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website. By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

    By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

    2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

    3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

    4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

    5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

    6. You understand and agree that the discussion forums are to be used only for non-commercial purposes. You may not solicit funds, promote commercial entities or otherwise engage in commercial activity in our discussion forums.

    7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

    8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

    9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

     

     
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