Polio has long been gone from the US as well, and the efforts that made it possible could help the world, but the challenges in achieving that are both cultural and structural.
The structural barrier is the United Nations. The UN is not trusted by poor people because UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres believes "Humanity has become a weapon of mass extinction" - and poor brown and black people know that means UN elites regard peasants as pestilence breeding uncontrollably.(1) The UN is more interested in perpetuating its funding than solving a problem, as we saw with smallpox and still see with polio.
The other problem is cultural. Europeans routinely scare people in developing nations about science - GMOs and other agricultural tools are bad, affordable energy is bad - so it naturally follows they will not trust western medicine either. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the overlap of organic food believers and vaccine deniers was near 100 percent.(2)
COVID-19 showed us that the US CDC is great at inventing pandemics - vaping, prediabetes (insert your cause here if it will get them $100 million more from Congress) - but incompetent at controlling them much less preventing anything. Yet nothing compares to the politicization of health and bureaucratic malaise that infects the World Health Organisation. No one with basic science literacy trusts them after the SARS-CoV-2 debacle - any talk of a pandemic was xenophobic, they said, until it was a pandemic but American frozen food caused it - nor should we.
People without expertise trust science less than ever, and that has been due to the efforts of activists, epidemiologists, and bureaucrats who have weaponized science and health since the 1990s for their personal gain. All seemingly to save us from perils we are too stupid to see for ourselves, from endocrine disruption and other homeopathic effects involving trace chemicals so low they couldn't have been detected a generation ago, to hot tea and weedkillers magically 'linked' to human cancer with no science involved.
“Medical science has made such tremendous progress that there is hardly a healthy human left”
- Aldous Huxley
It is now easy to scare people about science, environmentalists have mastered it in food, energy, and medicine while WHO did nothing to caution their political allies about eroding public confidence, so a new paper which posits that centralized government agencies like the WHO, which had its credibility crash after it was exposed as hiding the truth about COVID-19 for the benefit of China, can help eliminate polio.
After decades of failure. The same group that was so incompetent about smallpox they said no one could do it, until two Americans led the way. The WHO only even took up polio after Rotary Club made it their own $100 million mission. You read that right, the Rotary Club did something the UN did not think of doing because they knew the American Way that had worked 25 years earlier would succeed for the world.(3)
Using detection of the virus in sewage as a proxy, the authors of the recent paper state its continued prevalence means we need a new concerted effort by governments. Sure, except it would be gone by now if governments and politicians listened to science. The U.N.'s Global Polio Eradication Initiative has been a spectacular $18 billion boondoggle, why would anyone want a new flavor of that? Flare-ups that have recurred even in countries where it was eradicated are due to WHO saying immunizing against all three kinds of poliovirus was a waste of time.
A more evidence-based approach advocated by the authors is also going to be controversial among populations that have been steeped by western activists into distrusting science; continuing to use both inactivated along with a live, weakened virus in oral polio vaccines. Anti-science elites opposed to vaccines since the 1990s were convinced that even inactivated viruses were giving their kids autism, and they are all college-educated, so the response from less educated people who are told rice that has been vitamin-fortified will give them cancer is not going to be positive.
If we want people to be helped, the WHO, and IARC, and the rest of the UN need to get out of the way.The authors are correct in saying it is a bad idea for the UN to institute a global standard, not just because it is bad policy, but because pharmaceutical companies will stop improving vaccines that the UN says they don't want used.
Such confusion leads to the kind of botched implementation that has kept polio around this long. Competing fiefdoms claiming to be about public health is why we were unprepared for the third coronavirus pandemic of just this century, and will remain unprepared for the fourth unless we fix centralized agencies that demand they be in control rather than give them more money and power.
(1) They instead want mandatory sterilization and other Draconian top-down control measures, as advocated by other elites like John Holdren and Paul Ehrlich since their 1970s "Ecoscience" book.
(2) When public health departments reported locations of anti-vax gatherings they all shared one thing in common:
(3) The UN were so afraid of failure in the 1970s, and that it might cost them some funding, they did not nothing until other groups made them look irrelevant. Not much has changed today.