It was first established over a decade ago by Rotary International.
‘The success of the polio immunization program has brought this crippling disease close to its end.’
Here are some
facts about polio:
- Polio is the most probable viral infectious disease to join smallpox as
the next infection to be eradicated with the help of vaccines.
in the 1940s and the 1950s that affected around half a million people every
year, it has been reduced to being endemic in only two countries: Afghanistan
- Polio is a viral disease that usually affects children and cripples
them for life. The polio virus affects the nervous system and causes weakness
of muscles. An infection that may first appear with flu-like symptoms can
result in crippling the individual, or even death if the respiratory muscles
are affected. With no cure available for polio, immunization is the only way
that the infection can be curbed.
- Statistics on polio
reflect the commendable job done by various governments and health
organizations throughout the world. The
Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) started in 1988 has played a major
role in the drastic reduction of polio cases by a whopping 99%. When the
initiative was started, there were around 350 000 cases in more than 125
endemic countries. This number has reduced to a double-digit number - 74
reported cases in 2015, out of which 54 cases were reported from Pakistan and
20 from Afghanistan. This number is less than that recorded in the previous
year. Nigeria has also been certified as wild polio virus free in 2015.
- Polio has been curbed through the use of multiple doses of polio vaccines.
There are two polio vaccines available -
the oral vaccine which is administered as drops, and the injection vaccine.
Vaccination starts at birth and boosters are
continued till the child is five years of age, which are the years where the
child is most susceptible to the infection. Vaccination provides life-long
immunity to the viral infection.
- Currently, most people
live in regions that are declared polio free. However, if the polio virus continues to thrive and spread in regions
where it is currently present, it always has the potential to spread to other
areas of the world. Therefore, it is extremely important that every child
should be protected from polio.
- Through its vaccination
programs, India has achieved the tough task converting a country with highly
prevalent polio to a polio-free nation. The last case of wild polio virus in
India was reported in 2011. Ongoing vaccination under the Pulse Polio Program
has ensured that no new cases have been detected. Government commitment and
awareness among the people have been major factors contributing to the mission
of making India polio free.
- Polio eradication would be a major achievement for governments and health care systems
all over the world. Let us join hands in making the
world polio-free. We have to continue immunizing our kids and increasing
awareness till such time that the World Health Organization declares the world
- Centers for
Disease Control & Prevention - (http://www.cdc.gov/)
- World Health
Organization - (http://www.who.int/)