A World Without Polio : A Benefit Cost Analysis Critique

1536 WordsApr 4, 20167 Pages
A World without Polio: A Benefit Cost Analysis Critique Introduction A benefit cost analysis must be performed before the start of any public health campaign and the eradication of global poliomyelitis is no exception. This paper will examine the first benefit cost analysis of the Global Poliomyelitis Eradication Initiative, published in 1996 . It will also explore the broader question of the economic value of eradication. Background & Context The world is on the verge of a remarkable achievement in global health – the eradication of polio. An achievement of this magnitude has occurred only once before, thirty years ago, with the eradication of smallpox in 1980. The advent of effective vaccines in the 1950s enabled polio prevention, and the resulting control efforts were wildly successful. Following the elimination of polio from many Western countries, the World Health Assembly passed a resolution in 1988 to completely eradicate the disease within 12 years. While the initial and subsequent deadlines have come and gone, polio incidence is down 99 percent from 1988 with only Pakistan and Afghanistan considered to be endemic for polio, having never interrupted transmission, compared to 125 polio endemic countries 27 years ago. The impressive progress has been accomplished through a combination of strategies, from the most basic: blanketing the world with polio vaccines and working at the community level to encourage local leaders in the world’s most difficult-to-reach

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