Gates Foundation Hopes to Share Lessons Learned in Polio Eradication Effort

Children receiving oral polio vaccine at an event inaugurating a polio vaccination campaign in Kano, Nigeria. Source:

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation requested proposals last month to help future generations use best practices found from polio eradication efforts in addressing other public health issues. Foundation staff acknowledge they have learned both dos and don’ts in polio eradication efforts and want to share those lessons with others in the public health sector and beyond.

Some people have criticized polio eradication efforts for being vertical, but the efforts can be transferable to other issues. For example, the polio emergency operations center in Lagos, Nigeria was converted into Ebola response center within 24 hours of disease emergence. The Gates Foundation and partners are working with traditional leaders in Nigeria to use the same steps that guided planning and implementation of polio vaccination campaigns for other routine immunizations.

The Gates Foundation hopes that their latest request for proposals draws input from universities in developing countries where the polio program has been shaped. Applicants from developed countries are encouraged to pursue potential partnerships from developing world. The foundation chose to request proposals instead of working with their previous grant partners in order to hear from others in the community.

Read more about polio eradication efforts and the Gates Foundation’s request for proposals here.