Africa declared free of ‘Wild Poliovirus’ by WHO

Africa has been declared free of wild poliovirus. The milestone came as an optimistic outcome four years after Nigeria observed the last polio-endemic country in Africa recorded its final case of wild poliovirus.

Rotary International President Holger Knaack said, “Rotary International and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) are proud to announce a historic public health achievement as the World Health Organization’s African region is now certified wild poliovirus-free.”

9 billion dosages of oral polio vaccine were administered and implemented by the independent body over four years of effort in continuation. Hundreds and millions of children were immunised.

Polio
Credits : Statista

Bill Gates while applausing efforts of his foundation declared it as worth celebrating said, “Today we move one step closer towards the world without polio. This is an incredible milestone that’s worth celebrating. It is also an Important reminder of what can be accomplished when we work together towards common global goal.”

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation joined in 2007, followed by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, just last year. The 32-year initiative has depended on volunteer workers and charitable donations, which together have produced an army of 20 million field workers administering vaccines to over 2.5 billion children at a cost of $17 billion as quoted from a report in The Time magazine.

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