What If We Fail to Eradicate Polio?

Photographer: Alyce Henson; Courtesy of Rotary International
Photographer: Alyce Henson; Courtesy of Rotary International

Global health officials agree that eradicating polio isn’t a “done deal.” In fact, in 1999 the world was on track to defeat polio in its entirety by 2000, but due to commercial concerns at the time, namely vaccination manufacturers decreasing production for fear that no one would buy it after 2000, polio remains a leading concern with cases still prevalent in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria. During the 2016 World Health Summit, held in Berlin over the weekend, officials expressed their concern that we as a world may never fully eradicate polio unless we learn from our mistakes and stay focused. “We need to learn the lessons from polio so we know how and when to work in these insecure areas,” says Matshidiso R. Moeti, the WHO’s regional director for Africa. “And we need to make sure eradicating polio isn’t just a commitment of a country’s health minister, but also of its finance minister.”

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Written By Beyond Polio