The World Health Organisation has said that the global efforts has achieved a more than 99.9 per cent decrease in polio cases since 1988.
The WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, who disclosed this in a message to mark the World Polio Day said 20 million children have been spared disability and are walking.
The theme for this year’s celebration, “World Polio Day 2022 and Beyond: A healthier future for mothers and children”, kicked off with discussions in Geneva between WHO, Rotary International and polio experts, to consider future efforts to continue the decades-long collaboration against polio.
Dr. Moeti said,
“Since the landmark resolution for the worldwide eradication of polio was adopted in 1988 at the 41st World Health Assembly, global efforts have achieved a more than 99.9 per cent decrease in polio cases. As many as 20 million children have been spared disability and are walking today. Two of the three strains of wild poliovirus (Type 2 and Type 3) have been certified as eradicated, and in 2020 the African Region was certified as free of indigenous wild polio.
“This progress is admirable, and has safeguarded millions of children and their families from this crippling virus. However, detections of new outbreaks, including in areas where polio was believed to have been eradicated, is a stark reminder that if we do not deliver on our promise to eradicate all forms of polio, everywhere, no child is safe anywhere.
“The Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s 2022-2026 Strategy to end polio lays out the pathway to finish this last mile. The significant global commitment to fund the strategy, at the 2022 World Health Summit polio pledging event earlier this month, was extremely encouraging.