Giving Compass' Take:

The Reaching the Last Mile Forum in Abu Dhabi convened leaders and global health funders to understand the efforts to eradicate diseases that are straining health systems today.

A theme highlighted at the conference focused on the impact of collaborative funding and innovative partnerships between health donors and local governments. Without these two components in place, reaching the "last mile" for global health would not be possible.

Learn how you can make an impact on global health.

“Polio, guinea worm and malaria are all symptoms of a deeper sickness. Which is why ultimately, our fight is not against a single disease. Our fight is against inequality.”

Those were the words of World Health Organization Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhenom Ghebreysus at the recent Reaching the Last Mile Forum in Abu Dhabi where leaders and global health funders gathered to ensure no one is left behind in global efforts to eradicate diseases that strain health systems and economies.

Without keeping the so-called “last mile” in mind as funding is allocated, global health targets are set, and programs are designed and implemented, we cannot achieve the goal of reaching everyone, everywhere with vital health services.

During the Reaching the Last Mile Forum, donors and global leaders demonstrated just what collective action can do. Together, during the Forum they pledged $2.6 billion to ensure we can finish the fight against polio and once and for all achieve eradication.  As part of this effort, the UN Foundation and our Shot@Life campaign pledged to contribute roughly $1.6 million per year over the next three years to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

Additionally, key private sector partners like Takeda Pharmaceuticals promised to give approximately $5 million to the African Region over the next five years to bolster the broader surveillance infrastructure that is needed to stop a range of vaccine-preventable diseases, including polio.

These pledges, among others made at the Forum, demonstrate the impact innovative partnerships between donors and governments can have to ensure we can successfully bridge critical funding gaps.

Read the full article about reaching the last mile to end polio by Kate Dodson at United Nations Foundation.