Malta at the forefront of polio elimination fight

As chair of the Commonwealth, Malta will continue urging leaders to commit more resources to eliminate polio

19 September 2017, 7:26pm
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat addressing the Global Citizen Live
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat addressing the Global Citizen Live
Malta has continued to push for the eradication of polio in its role as chair of the Commonwealth.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, currently in New York for the United National General Assembly, addressed the annual Global Citizen Live. The event brings together political leader, activists and artists in a united message against poverty and social exclusion.

Muscat admitted that two years ago, as he prepared to assume the role of Commonwealth Chair-in-Office, he didn’t know much about polio. Polio afflicts countries in extreme poverty and the worst affected are children.

“I considered polio as an illness of the past and could not understand how in a world that advanced so much, we have not yet managed to eradicate it once and for all,” Muscat told his audience.

As he took on the campaign, and started speaking out on polio, Muscat started receiving hundreds of e-mails encouraging him to keep going – chief amongst them the global NGO, Global Citizen.

“I saw how minimal international effort could seriously lead us to eliminate polio,” Muscat said.

Commonwealth countries such as Australia, Canada, Nigeria, Pakistan, the United Kingdom and Malta have committed further resources to address the remaining cases.

“We have a duty to finish the work started by activism on social media,” Muscat said.