Aid could stop PNG polio

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Tess Clarke | Sydney Morning Herald | Aid could stop PNG polio


Your article “Spectre of polio rises again in PNG”, October 8, brings about a sense of disappointment that a country that was essentially ‘polio free’ in 2000 has had the disease return. This development is mostly due to low immunisation rates and a lack of funding from their own government, but also from countries like ours. Over the years of 2014-2018 we have seen the Coalition government reduce the foreign aid budget and although an extra $10 million for the polio outbreak in PNG is commendable, without these cuts Australia could surely do more.

 World Polio Day on October 24 should be a chance for people to understand that polio is down to a handful of cases in a few countries now. It can be eradicated globally and should be supported to prevent unnecessary disability and death. The development of a polio vaccine in 1955 was largely achieved by political involvement. If the same amount of money was dedicated to finding an effective vaccine for TB, thousands of cases and millions globally could be avoided. – Tess Clarke, Mona Vale