The global polio eradication initiative in India: an analysis of international and national level perspectives on its efficacy

Langlois, Adele (2014) The global polio eradication initiative in India: an analysis of international and national level perspectives on its efficacy. Journal of Health Diplomacy . ISSN UNSPECIFIED

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Abstract

In 1988, the World Health Organization launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), which has become the biggest international public health effort to date. By 1999, the annual caseload had reduced by an estimated 99 per cent and polio is now endemic to only three countries. Yet support is not universal. This article analyses Indian medical journals and GPEI documents from 2004 onwards to determine the range of views on polio eradication efforts in India, where transmission of the disease was declared interrupted in early 2012. One group of public health professionals believe the GPEI was forced on their country, to the detriment of other health programmes. A second set, who are broadly supportive of the initiative, question why Indian experts were not consulted about the best way to administer polio vaccines in the Indian context. Specifically, they have concerns about the safety of oral polio vaccination (the method recommended by the World Health Organization), the impact on other health services and the apparent distrust of the programme among some marginalised communities. Using the global health diplomacy literature as a framework for discussion, the article concludes that if the GPEI is to achieve maximum efficiency and certify the world as polio-free by 2018 (the latest goal), it must pay greater heed to expert and lay voices from the contexts in which it operates.

Keywords:polio, global health diplomacy, WHO, India, bmjissn
Subjects:L Social studies > L250 International Relations
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:13902
Deposited On:09 May 2014 08:06

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