U.S., Russia Partner To Eradicate Polio Around the World

Posted by Jonathan Hale
January 27, 2011
Administrator Shah Joins U.S. and Russian Officials To Speak on Efforts To Eradicate Polio

About the Author: Jonathan Hale serves as Deputy Assistant Administrator for Europe & Eurasia at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

While in Moscow last summer, I visited the M.P. Chumakov Institute of Poliomyelitis and saw the history of collaboration between the United States and Russia on polio research. I saw opportunity to advance our cooperation to address new challenges and work with Russian experts to eradicate polio for good enabled by the Obama Administration 'reset' policy and the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission.

Today, USAID Administrator Raj Shah joined Dr. Nils Daulaire, Director of the Office of Global Health Affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Dr. Veronika Skvortsova, Deputy Minister of Health and Social Development for the Russian Federation, in signing a Protocol of Intent that will deepen cooperation between American and Russian health experts to eradicate polio around the globe.

It's fitting that Administrator Shah signed this Protocol while visiting Geneva to serve on the World Health Organization's Commission on Information and Accountability for Women and Children's Health. Polio is a highly infectious disease that mainly affects children under the age of five. One in 200 infections leads to paralysis and among those paralyzed, five to 10 percent die. Polio is easily preventable with available vaccines, as evidenced by the success of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative to reduce polio by 99 percent worldwide since the Initiative started in 1988. However, recent years have seen outbreaks in several countries.

It pains me to think of the children that unnecessarily suffer from a disease that can be prevented for 14 cents. It's incredible that we're so close to ridding the world of this disease once and for all. I believe that, working with our international partners, we can finally live in a polio-free world.

I am excited by the impact that we can have on lives around the world working together as global partners.



New Mexico, USA
January 28, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Jonathan,

Good to see this happening in partnership.

Do you folks have a ball-park target date in mind for a polio-free world?

South Korea
January 28, 2011

Palgye in South Korea writes:

Dear to,

Russia is not, but I personally have a bad feeling in Russia, many Chechens believe that terrorism is the Moscow airport.

not clear but .....


South-Korea`s Bad and Sad News.

Yesterday, in violation of election law violations had ruled against politicians, opposition lawmakers and the governor - the governor of the U.S.? - The ruling party members guilty result of the acquittal came back, both parties are associated with suicide, a former president were men. A little sad. Remaining followers to hate him, he simply attended a memorial service, always alone and making my eyes with tears flowing, but disproportionately on older, I think this ruling will have a little problem. The story of South Korea, and they hate me, go out to the front part is that they belong to help you, but I think it is sad. Laws and the system network or the money to live a life that first made an effort to stop thinking about suicide, is the president. He hoped to continue to remain alive (however, survived his followers to hate me, too difficult.)

West Virginia, USA
January 28, 2011

Pam in West Virginia writes:

It is a crime that polio exsists when we have had the technology to erradicate this disease for years. Congratulations to this initiative.

West Virginia, USA
January 28, 2011

Dr. G. in West Virginia writes:

It would have been eradicated already if people would have taken their vaccines like they were supposed to

New York, USA
January 30, 2011

Ron in New York writes:

Any opportunity for partnership on health is a good thing. Yet, we are decades late on addressing HIV/AIDS, Intravenous drug use addictive diseases, and other treatable conditions in Russia. We seem to be moving away from contraversial (political) illnesses into areas less contentious.


Latest Stories