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HEALTH—POLIO ERADICATION

Senator McEwen, at the request of Senators Moore and Boyce and pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 831—That the Senate—

 (a) notes:

  (i) the Australian Government's commitment to provide $50 million in support of global polio eradication efforts over 4 years, and

  (ii) the recent declaration by the 65th World Health Assembly that the completion of polio eradication is a programmatic emergency for global public health, indicating that if polio is not successfully eradicated very soon, the consequences will be catastrophic;

 (b) recognises that in February 2012, India was removed from the list of countries where polio remains endemic, proving that eradication strategies are effective when they are fully implemented and that polio can be eradicated anywhere - there has not been a single reported case of polio in India since January 2011;


 (c) notes that the Global Polio Eradication Initiative currently faces a funding shortfall of US$945 million for the full implementation of its 2012-13 Emergency Action Plan, especially targeting Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria and that immunisation campaigns have had to be cancelled or scaled back in 33 countries in Africa and Asia to make up for this shortfall, leaving more children vulnerable to the disease and increasing the risk of the international spread of polio; and

 (d) encourages the Australian Government to support efforts to deliver a polio-free world and to encourage other countries to do likewise at the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Question put and passed.