Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus. It invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours. Polio mainly affects children under five years of age. There is no cure for polio, so action to prevent polio through improved water and sanitation and vaccination is essential. The polio vaccine, given multiple times, can protect a child for life.
Results believes in the importance of eradicating polio - without a cure, ending the spread of the disease is the best way to prevent its effects on children and wider communities. For almost a decade, we have joined sector-wide campaigns to ensure Australia's continued support of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI).
The GPEI is a public–private partnership which links 200 national governments with key stakeholders (including WHO, UNICEF, CDC and Rotary) who drive the work of the GPEI. This initiative has seen nearly three billion children immunised, and has spared ten million children from paralysis and deformity. Since GPEI's inception, polio cases globally have decreased by over 99% since 1988 and it is now endemic in only Afghanistan and Pakistan. GPEI works in 28 countries which have recently had wild or vaccine-derived polio or are at risk of having new polio cases. In our region, GPEI works with Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, the Philippines and Myanmar.
Our polio campaigns have focussed on leveraging Government support for GPEI. Over the years, we have successfully leveraged over $100 million in Government funding for polio eradication and the provision of routine immunisations.
Our campaign for GPEI in 2022
In 2022, Results Australia secured a $43.55 million Government commitment to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI). GPEI has made huge progress in protecting children and the world’s most vulnerable populations from this debilitating disease. Since GPEI was founded, polio has decreased by 99.9%; 20 million people are walking today who would otherwise be paralysed and more than 1.5 million people have been saved from the disease. GPEI remains committed to tackling polio and eliminating it completely.