This month was a very special grassroots conference call, as it was our Executive Director, Aaron Oxley’s last call after 13 years with RESULTS! For our September action we have asked our network to help push for the eradication of polio. We were joined by guest speaker Safia Ibrahim, a polio survivor and Special Vaccine Advocate for UNICEF Canada, who shared her personal story about why the fight to end polio matters. Thanks to the introduction of vaccines and global programmes for effective immunisation, polio cases have decreased by 99%, and the world is close to eradicating polio forever. However, this can’t be taken for granted. Recent cases of polio in Malawi and Mozambique, and poliovirus found in sewage samples in London, Israel and the USA show that until polio is fully eradicated, we can’t be complacent.
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) has helped more than 2.5 billion children to be immunised against polio since 1988. The UK Government has pledged £50 million over the next 3 years to the GPEI, and must continue to invest in polio eradication efforts, and show continued and stronger support at the next pledging event in Berlin on 18 October.
Safia explained why writing and meeting with MPs is vital to the work of ending polio, and the difference it can make.
The recording of the call and links shared in the chat box during it are below: