For the first time in the history of public health, polio eradication partners from around the world have marked 24th October 2012 as the first World Polio Day. The celebration is in response to a major public health feat in the eradication programme in the way of India being removed from the list of countries with active transmission of wild poliovirus (WHO) . The last polio case in India was reported on January 13, 2011 from the state of West Bengal. Since then the virus has not been detected in sewage samples in India too. With this only three nations as of now remain as victims of polio viz Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria.
The day 24th October has been chosen to mark the birthday of Jonas Salk who was instrumental in discovering the first polio vaccine way back in 1955. The celebration has been planned to make “Every year on 24 October, people around the world shine a spotlight on the importance of global eradication. ” The immense success of this almost impossible task by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative led by Rotary International can be understood by the fact that 99% of the disease has been already eradicated from the globe in the last 25 years. Compared on a year-on-year basis this year there were only 170 cases reported compared to 467 in the corresponding period previous year.
Though remarkable success has been achieved already the celebration of the World Polio Day is also to remind us that all the effort of this historic feat by mankind will be negated if we do not succeed in eradicating the remaining 1% of the disease.
“The risks are hard to oversee and the consequences could be catastrophic. Millions of children that could get polio from individuals traveling from endemic countries1.”
” We have the chance to write an entirely new polio free chapter in human history. If we blink now, we will lose to eradicate this ancient disease.”2
Be a part of this Once-in-history Event, join the world’s biggest commercial put together by Rotary International. And take action: write to world leaders, download an action pack
Recommended Reading :
Photo Courtesy : http://www.fotopedia.com/items/flickr-4415954257/slideshow