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Pourquoi sommes-nous incapables de faire disparaître la poliomyélite ?

BERNE, LONDRES, GENÈVE – Le 24 octobre 2016 devrait être une journée exceptionnelle dans l’histoire de la polio. Si tout se déroule comme prévu, ce sera la dernière année où sera organisée la Journée mondiale contre la polio avant que cette maladie soit éradiquée. Mais le moment n’est pas encore venu de célébrer ou de s’asseoir sur ses lauriers ; même si nous savons comment éliminer la polio, la tâche n’est pas terminée.

Considérez ceci : en août 2014, l’Organisation mondiale de la santé a déclaré que la crise Ebola en Afrique de l’Ouest constituait une urgence de santé publique de portée internationale (USPPI) ; l’état d’urgence a été levé en mars 2016. En mai 2014, l’OMS a déclaré que la propagation internationale du poliovirus sauvage était également classée comme une USPPI ; or cette maladie conserve ce statut aujourd’hui, nous laissant songeurs quant à la capacité des instances mondiales d’y prêter suffisamment attention.

Ces craintes sont justifiées. La persistance du statut d’USPPI de la poliomyélite met en péril les réalisations de l’Initiative pour l’éradication mondiale de la poliomyélite (IEMP), dans laquelle les autorités mondiales ont investi 15 milliards $ depuis son inauguration en 1988, car cette maladie menace la santé mondiale globalement.

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