#NewsdayTuesday: Working Towards a Polio-Free World

By Holly Rosen Fink

April 11, 2017


Source: Global Polio Eradication Initiative

Polio is a contagious and devastating disease. Health officials around the world have been working to wipe out polio and we are closer than ever to eradicating the disease. While progress has been made, there’s more work to be done to achieve a polio-free world. 

Polio is still a persistent problem in West and Central Africa, and places more than 116 million young lives in danger.

In response, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative has been created to help all children under the age of five in thirteen countries, from Mauritania to the Democratic Republic of Congo. The initiative is a public-private partnership led by national governments with five partners – the 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.

The initiative is sending teams house-to-house to reach children wherever they are. It aims to strengthen the detection, treatment and immunization against polio, and work with governments to reinforce their commitments to fight it.  

“We won’t reach every child – we are hoping for at least 90 percent coverage – but we will vaccinate as many as possible to ensure that the virus cannot circulate in any given community,” GPEI director Michel Zaffran told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in the latest news report.

Take Action Challenge

  • Find out more about polio here and educate others about the significance of helping children in these thirteen countries.


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