Polio on cusp of eradication

Harper government must not set this medical progress backwards.

To the Editor,

Humanity is about to eradicate polio after three decades of continuous efforts to immunize the children of the world.

Thanks to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), the total number of polio cases decreased from 350,000 in 1988 to 650 in 2011, and to only a little more than 100 since the beginning of 2012. Polio resurgence around the world after so many years of effort would be disastrous. We would probably then lose forever the chance to eradicate the disease.

Canada has played an important role in the eradication of polio over the last decade, being the fifth largest donor to GPEI.

I do wish the Harper government will reverse its decision to cut this important health initiative Sept. 27, at the United Nations General Assembly. I hope it  will maintain its $35 million contribution per year to the GPEI until polio eradication is achieved.

Bruno Marquis,

Gatineau, QC