Statement by Indiaat the 71st World Health Assembly (21-26 May 2018) on Agenda Item: 11.3 on Polio Transition and post certification

Statement by India at the 71st World Health Assembly (21-26 May 2018) on Agenda Item: 11.3 on Polio Transition and post certification

Thank You Chair,

India appreciates the report of the Director General on the subject of Polio Transition Planning particularly its emphasis on polio transition being planned and managed in a way which is in alignment with the strategic objectives set out in the draft 13th GPW.

India supports the agenda of transitioning of polio programme assets to other public health programme in order to capitalize on the polio resources without compromising on the polio activities essential for global eradication.

India welcomes the proposed absorption of GPEI (Global Polio Eradication Initiative) staff and systems into general primary health care and public health systems. The platforms will serve to continue to support polio functions post certification as well as immunisation, epidemiological surveillance, food system interventions and maternal and child health.

In March 2018, India signed a Memorandum of Agreement with WHO for enhanced cooperation. We are happy to share that India has agreed to sustain the National Polio Surveillance Project network to 2021 and beyond to support the broader public health needs

India has been polio free for more than 7 years now; however, the risk of importation and Vaccine Derived Polio Virus (VDPV) still persists.

Mr. Chair,

The delegation of India would like to mention that rapid scaling down of the National Polio Surveillance Project's (NPSP) infrastructure may not only risk the polio programme but also related activities intended to strengthen immunization programmes on the existing NPSP structure. This is critical to sustain and strengthen the gains made so far by India in polio.

We strongly believe that NPSP network should continue to operate at its current level with the global funding continuing to support the NPSP structure. This would be critical to our ongoing efforts.

Mr. Chair,

India remains committed to working with the WHO in making Polio Transition planning a success.

Thank You

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