Sending Office: Honorable Steve Cohen
Support Funding for Polio Eradication
Please join us in sending two programmatic request letters to the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee, as well as the State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee on Appropriations in support of funding in Fiscal Year
2020 for the polio eradication activities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative, a partnership led by Rotary International, CDC the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, continues to make tremendous progress.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of millions of health workers, many of whom operate in difficult or dangerous conditions, only two countries have never stopped transmission of wild polio, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Health workers and volunteers in these and up
to sixty other countries which are polio free, but remain at-risk, continue to immunize 400 million children annually. These workers are not only protecting children from polio, but also paving the way for other health programs to reach the world’s most vulnerable
children. The cumulative result of these efforts is that the number of people afflicted with polio has declined by more than 99.9% and two of the three types of wild polio virus have been stopped, showing clearly that eradication is possible. The Global Polio
Eradication Initiative continues to apply best practices for polio eradication while also working to identify innovations to address challenges and overcome obstacles in order to stop polio transmission in the remaining endemic countries and protect the gains
made in polio free areas.
While polio exists anywhere in our globalized world, it is a threat to children everywhere. Since 2001, outbreaks have occurred in 41 previously polio-free countries. Each of these outbreaks has been stopped successfully demonstrating the program’s
effectiveness, however, they underscore the fact that every country remains vulnerable until polio is eradicated.
The polio eradication initiative is one of the largest, most successful public-private health initiatives ever undertaken. Since the launch of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988, more than 2.5 billion children have been immunized, 18 million have
been spared disability and over 1.5 million deaths from polio have been averted, however, until the world is polio-free, every child, even those in the United States, is at risk. The tremendous progress made in the fight against polio would not be possible
without the financial and political commitment of the United States, which is the leading public sector donor to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Continued leadership is essential to ensure we capitalize on the historic opportunity to free the world
from polio once and for all.
If you have any questions regarding this request or would like to sign the letters, please contact Merrilee Rogers in Congressman Steve Cohen’s Office at
Merrilee.Rogers@mail.house.gov or Drew Kennedy in Congressman Joe Wilson’s office at
The deadline to sign the letter is March 22, 2019.
Steve Cohen Joe Wilson
Member of Congress Member of Congress