Shahid Afridi, Pakistani cricketer On his new role as Pakistan Polio Champion, 7 July 2012:
I will do my best to take the message to every doorstep of Pakistan. Reaching every child, every time with the polio vaccine is not only necessary, but it is our duty.
Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization
In anticipation of the World Health Assembly declaring ‘the completion of polio eradication to be a programmatic emergency for global public health’, 24 May 2012:Polio eradication is at a tipping point between success and failure…We are in emergency mode to tip it towards success - working faster and better, focusing on the areas where children are most vulnerable.
Kalyan Banerjee, president of Rotary InternationalCommenting on the emergency, 24 May 2012:
We know polio can be eradicated, and our success in India proves it… It is now a question of political and societal will. Do we choose to deliver a polio-free world to future generations, or do we choose to allow 55 cases this year to turn into 200,000 children paralyzed for life, every single year?
Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations
In a statement ahead of the G8 congregation in the United States and the World Health Assembly in Geneva, 17 May 2012:
Wild viruses and wildfires have two things in common. If neglected, they can spread out of control. If handled properly, they can be stamped out for good. Today, the flame of polio is near extinction — but sparks in three countries threaten to ignite a global blaze. Now is the moment to act.
Goodluck Jonathan, President of Nigeria At the Rotary Polio Eradication Champion Presentation, 23 April 2012:
One thing I promise the Nigerian child, and also the Nigerian father and mother, is that if we cannot solve all the health problems in this country now, one thing this present administration is committed to is to eradicate polio by 2015,
Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, At the Polio 2012 Summit, New Delhi 25-26 February 2012:
This [India’s removal from the list of countries with active transmission of endemic polio] gives us hope that we can finally eradicate polio not only from India but from the face of the entire mother earth… The real credit goes to the 2.3 million volunteers who repeatedly vaccinated children even in the most remote areas, often in very bad weather conditions…I commend each one of them for their dedication, commitment and selfless service.
Mia Farrow, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Actress, and polio survivor,on a tour of Democratic Republic of the Congo, February 2012:
Imagine a ship, imperilled at sea, with hundreds of children on board. Of course the international community would respond immediately and fully. Yet, each year poverty and polio steal the lives and the childhood of hundreds of thousands of Congolese children. We have the capacity and the moral obligation to save them - but do we have the will?
Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, In his annual letter, January 2012:
The challenge in India was mind-boggling. It’s hard to imagine how you would design a polio campaign that reached every Indian child… The success of the polio eradication program in India and 90 other countries gives me confidence that we can triumph in these final challenging countries [Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan] and end polio once and for all.
Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia,At the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, Perth, 29 October 2011:
We are within grasp of declaring the end of polio worldwide… We need to keep this action going. We know it will yield real results. At the end of the day, it’s a simple action of two drops of vaccine. We can do that in our world and end polio forever.
David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom At the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, Perth, 29 October 2011:
Nearly eradicated is not good enough… When we have the vaccines and tools to save children’s lives, it is not good enough to wait. Because while we wait, children are dying. As long as one child remains at risk, all children remain at risk, and that isn’t a risk we can take… few ideas are more powerful than the eradication of human disease - what is missing is the political will to see it through. Let us eradicate polio once and for all.
Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations Addressing the Governors’ Forum in Abuja, Nigeria, 24 May 2011:
You have made tremendous progress [in] the past year. Polio cases are down by 95 per cent. But, if we let our guard down for a minute, polio can spring back. We cannot let this happen. Let us eradicate this crippling disease once and for all.
David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Announcing on 28 January 2011 that the United Kingdom would double its contribution to polio (for 2011-2012) even in the midst of the recession: There is never a wrong time to do the right thing.I passionately believe that we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rid the world of the evil of polio. We have the vaccines and the tools to do it. All that’s missing is real and sustained political will to see this effort through to the end.
Tony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF At the launch of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative Strategic Plan 2010-2012 in June 2010: Let’s act and let’s act with an eye to results.We must all dedicate ourselves to writing this final chapter and closing the book on polio forever. For every child.
Mia Farrow, actress and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador On a visit to Chad in March 2010, Mia Farrow told parents to vaccinate their children against polio: I have come here as a mother and as a grandmother and as an ambassador for UNICEF to tell all the women and fathers to be sure to bring their children in to be vaccinated.
Fernando Alonso, F1 World ChampionDuring a visit to India on October 27, 2011, Fernando Alonso administered polio vaccine and visited paralysed children: Every child deserves the right to run, to play and to live a healthy life without polio. I’m proud to be here today to immunize children against polio. It is critical that all Indian children continue to be immunized against polio until this disease has been eradicated all over the world. We all hope that happens soon.
Dr Robert Scott, chair of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee On the announcement that Rotary International would be releasing US$500,000 in emergency grants to help combat the outbreak in Congo, November 2010: Polio outbreaks highlight our global vulnerability to infectious disease. It reinforces the fact that polio 'control' is not an option, and only successful eradication will stop the disease.
Itzhak Perlman, violinist and polio survivor Walking on stage on crutches, the violin virtuoso told the audience at the ‘Concert to End Polio’ in December 2009: There is no reason that anybody in this world should have polio... it’s just ridiculous.
Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization At the 2008 Rotary International conference: As an international community, we have few opportunities to do something that is unquestionably good for every country and every child, in perpetuity. Polio eradication is one of these opportunities.
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative © Copyright 2010