Polio has reduced by 99 percent worldwide – UN

Polio file

The United Nations has revealed that polio has been reduced by 99 percent worldwide since the establishment of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in 1988.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric made the revelation on the occasion of World Polio Day on October 24.

Dujarric however said, ‘Despite that progress, as long as a single child remains infected with poliovirus, children in all countries are at risk of contracting the disease.’

‘There is no cure for polio, but polio vaccine, given multiple times, can protect a child for life,’ he added.

Nigeria made breakthrough in 2014 when it was declared a polio-free nation, but later had a resurgence of the virus in mid-2016.

World Polio Day was established by Rotary International over a decade ago to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk, who led the first team to develop a vaccine against poliomyelitis.

Polio is a crippling and potentially fatal infectious disease. Polio can be prevented through immunization. Polio vaccine, given multiple times, almost always protects a child for life. The strategy to eradicate polio is therefore based on preventing infection by immunizing every child until transmission stops and the world is polio-free.

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