Yet More Progress Against Polio

Angola celebrates one year polio-free. Here’s an excellent video from UNICEF

Only 3 countries are considered polio endemic: Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria. And so far this year, there has been polio cases (just 5) confirmed in only one non-endemic country: Chad.

Angola’s achievement underscores just how much progress humanity has made against this disease since the Global Polio Eradication Initiative was launched in 1988.  These gains, however, are not certain. This year, polio eradication efforts face a critical funding shortfall that has forced the World Health Organization to scale back its efforts.  Given the highly contagious nature of the disease any reduction of immunizations raises the prospects that polio may return.  We have to remain vigilant.

If you want to know how to support global childhood immunization efforts, I recommend checking out the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life program.