Think Tanks et al

Think Tanks et al

Accessed 10 June 2017
GPEI’s Funding Decline Among Tedros’ Top Challenges as WHO Director-General
June 9, 2017
Nellie Bristol, Senior Fellow, Global Health Policy Center
Among the pressing issues facing incoming World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus when he begins his term July 1 is the winding down of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI). The polio program comprises 27 percent of total WHO expenditures and provides support for disease surveillance, immunization delivery, and laboratory capacity along with data collection and analysis not only for polio, but other diseases as well. WHO still is analyzing what the reductions will mean specifically for the organization’s activities, but it notes, “the current downscaling of the polio infrastructure, together with that planned for the future, will cause WHO to lose its field presence, coordinating role, and technical leadership in some countries in greatest need.”
Among those is Tedros’ home country, Ethiopia, which receives the fifth highest amount of external polio-related funding of any country at $40 million in 2016. That amount currently is slated to decline to $4.6 million by 2019, an 88.5 percent decrease. Polio-funded NGOs provide immunization and other health services to Ethiopia’s hard to reach border areas where government services are scarce…