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Welcome to the course

Watch Olakunle Alonge, Svea Closser, Anna Kalbarczyk, and Aditi Rao introduce the course "Planning and Managing Global Health Programs". (Step 1.1)
SVEA CLOSSER: The effort to eradicate polio is one of the largest coordinated public health projects in history.
OLAKUNLE ALONGE: It spans over 200 countries and has delivered well over 20 billion doses of all our polio vaccine in immunization countries.
ADITI RAO: As an immunization officer in Delhi, India commented on the challenges in one country alone, how do you vaccinate over 172 million children across 29 states over 5 to 6 days? How do you then do that again four to six times in a year?
ANNA KALBARCZYK: In India and all across the world, to meet this challenge, over 10 million workers have been engaged in implementing polio eradication activities.
ADITI RAO: Strategies were developed for reaching newborns, unvaccinated children, refugees, and mobile populations. And that was just the start.
ANNA KALBARCZYK: The Indian immunization officer explains, developing and implementing the polio program has helped us now with many other programs. We built capacity, planned meticulously, and brought people across sectors to work together from the very beginning.
OLAKUNLE ALONGE: When we plan, we plan for everything. We said, they’ll always know everything. Many things surprise and challenge us. But we know how to plan fast and think outside the box. And we need that to achieve and maintain a polio-free ward.
SVEA CLOSSER: 30 years after eradication became a global goal, this extraordinary global effort of millions of individuals who have committed their time, expertise, and passion has brought us to the very brink of eradication where failure is no longer an option.
ADITI RAO: But the road to eradication has been longer and harder than anyone expected. As the Global Polio Eradication Initiative enters its final stretch, tackling the last 1% of polio cases remaining, what are key lessons we can draw from the program’s vast pool of knowledge and experience?
ANNA KALBARCZYK: Planning and managing global health initiatives involves a lot more work than we may think. It involves intricate planning from the global level to the national and subnational levels, establishing a robust supply chain, acquiring training and deploying appropriate human resources, addressing corruption.
OLAKUNLE ALONGE: Thinking about the intersectionality of poverty and gender and their impacts, and consider how the program may advance or impede the larger goal of health equity.
SVEA CLOSSER: These processes are fascinating and complex. And we’re going to explore them through two themes– first, reaching populations that are geographically, environmentally, and socially hard to reach; and second, the importance of politics.
OLAKUNLE ALONGE: In this course, we dig into issues that can help students meet the challenges of planning and managing a disease control program.


Before we begin the course, let’s take a quick look at some of the issues and topics we will be covering over the next 5 weeks as we explore the lessons we can learn from the extraordinary global effort to eradicate polio.

Narrated by your course instructors, Drs. Alonge, Closser, and Kalbarczyk, and Ms. Rao, the video depicts key moments of global activities captured by the thousands of workers and volunteers of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

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Planning and Managing Global Health Programmes: Promoting Quality, Accountability and Equity

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