Polio-Free World Becoming a Reality
Polio cases have reduced by 99% worldwide since 1988, after the start of the polio eradication initiative that was kick started in the same year. Despite these efforts, the world is still not 100% free from polio and hence the need to continue with the eradication initiative worldwide.
Polio is a viral infection that can cause paralysis, or even death in severe cases and mostly affects children below the age of 5 years. In the majority of cases it is transmitted from an infected person to an uninfected person through direct contact and rarely through contaminated water and food.
To learn more about this deadly disease, click here.
World Polio day is commemorated every year on the 24th of October and this year, the day will focus on continuing with the eradication efforts as well as celebrating the efforts of thousands of volunteers who remain committed, working tirelessly to help eradicate this disease.
How do we Eradicate Polio?
Ending polio is not an easy undertaking, but the 99% polio eradication that has taken place over the years proves that it is actually possible to have a polio-free world. This can only happen if we:
- Raise awareness: One way of doing this is by holding events in different places to educate people on the polio endemic; getting people to see how they can play a role in ending polio, for instance, by volunteering their services in polio eradication efforts.
- Advocate for government involvement: Governments have a role to play in ending polio and therefore, their involvement in the efforts to end this disease should be felt in every country, especially those with high polio rates.
- Donate: The efforts to end polio require a lot of funds and this is where individual or large corporate donations are important. For instance, in 2017, the WPD was hosted by the Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation and the foundation together with rotary clubs with a commitment to raise 450 billion dollars towards eradication of polio worldwide.
You do not have to be a volunteer, but everyone can play a part in ending polio (whether in government, as a healthcare provider or an individual) when we work together, making the world polio-free to eventually become a reality.