Uganda hosts 55th Stop Transmission of Polio training

As we commemorate World Immunization Week (24 – 30 April), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization, UNICEF, and AFENET are training more health workers in the Stop Transmission of Polio (STOP) training program at the Speke Resort Hotel, Kampala.

This year marks the 55th STOP training which is a collaboration of CDC, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), to train international public health consultants to deploy to countries worldwide. STOP consultants help strengthen national immunization surveillance programs, support supplemental immunization activities, respond to disease outbreaks, and help support polio eradication.

Speaking at the start of the 55th STOP training, U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission in Kampala, Mr. William D. Bent observed that with now an interconnected world, fighting diseases has become even more complex.  

“Diseases, including vaccine-preventable ones such as measles, do not respect national borders.  The COVID-19 pandemic reminded the world of the power of vaccines in controlling epidemics.  We all watched as the world confronted this pandemic, and we all breathed a collective sigh of relief as vaccines started to come online in record time,” said Mr. Bent further noting that as new vaccines come on board, “they will be critical to control known diseases, such as cholera and malaria, as well as emerging diseases where the rapid development of new vaccines will continue to save lives.”

It is envisaged that with many countries facing a shortage of skilled public health staff available to support polio immunization and surveillance activities, STOP volunteers are critical to global polio eradication efforts; with specific focus on filling gaps in the disease surveillance, supplemental immunization campaign planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation by bringing this diverse expertise to countries that are still at risk for polio transmission.

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