This month, the polio eradication programme recognised World Polio Day, marking progress against the disease and recommitting to the global goal of eradication. Following the recent setback in Nigeria, immunisation campaigns are ongoing across the region in the midst of a humanitarian crisis. Health workers around the globe continue to inspire the programme with their remarkable dedication to protecting the health of children in their communities and beyond.

In this Issue

  • World Polio Day 2016
  • Polio in Nigeria: an “emergency within an emergency”
  • Polio survivor turned vaccinator

World Polio Day 2016 

24 October marked World Polio Day, which served as a moment for the world to come together to recognise progress made against polio and recommit to ending the disease once and for all. GPEI partners Rotary International and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) co-hosted the fourth annual World Polio Day event in Atlanta, featuring celebrity champions and polio experts. Melinda Gates also lent her voice to the effort with a photo story celebrating the female health workers who dedicate their lives to ending polio and Bill Gates acknowledged the hard work of the millions of polio volunteers. Read more

Polio in Nigeria: an “emergency within an emergency” 

To prevent further spread of polio across Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other GPEI partners are coordinating the distribution of polio vaccines to immunise millions of children across the Lake Chad basin. The ability to prevent any spread of this disease is a barometer for success in addressing the region’s broader humanitarian crisis. Read more

Polio survivor turned vaccinator

Shafiullah developed polio-induced paralysis at the age of five. Today, he provides vaccines in his province of Afghanistan and has encouraged 30 households to vaccinate their children over the past four months alone. Health workers all over the world like Shafiullah have made great strides in vaccinating previously-unreachable children. It is thanks to the conviction of such workers that fewer than 30 children in the world have been paralyzed by polio so far in 2016. Read more

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