Back in the early 20th century, the word “Polio” is one of the most feared words in many countries. Taking the lives of thousands of children every year, Polio became an epidemic which had no proper medication.
Polio or Poliomyelitis is a highly infectious viral disease which largely affects the nervous system and can even cause irreversible paralysis. This potentially fatal disease has a positive threat mostly on children under 5 years of age. Although this has been identified as a disease which has no cure, this could be prevented through proper immunization.
Thus in the year 1988, when polio paralyzed more than 1000 children worldwide every day, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative was formed with the sole aim eradicating this epidemic completely from the world. Through this partnership formed by World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the collaborative effort of many countries, the world has now been able to decrease the incidence rate of Polio by 99%.
Today, the 24th of October marks the World Polio Day established by Rotary International to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk, who led the first team to develop a vaccine against polio. “End Polio Now” lays down the theme forwarded by WHO for World Polio Day 2018. Various campaigns are being conducted in support of this to help the world to have a world free from Polio.
Although this has been a long gone disease for some countries, the remaining 1% of Polio, especially in Polio endemic countries, could give rise to another outbreak which could take away the lives of the future generations unless otherwise proper control measures are taken.
Thus it is our responsibility to take measures for proper immunization of children and support this global campaign until the day that no innocent child would ever hear the word “Polio”.