Polio the End Game 2013-18

Rotary International's Livestream event World Polio Day 2013.

Bill Gates
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Last night in Chicago, Rotary International held a Livestream event on World Polio Day designed to introduce the Polio End Game and update us all on progress.

A few interesting points came out of the video some of which you may not have realised before.

  • There are two main health benefits of eradicating polio, the obvious one of no more people being paralysed by the disease but the real bonus is the legacy of a health system in place staffed by health workers who can then help the population on other health matters.  Both are  obvious but I had not thought of the second benefit in quite that way before.
  • Rotary, UNICEF and WHO have been joined in what is known as Polio the End Game by several other organisations, 2018 is the target year to complete eradication. These include:
    • The Muslim world has agreed as one voice to publicise the need to complete the job and influence the peoples of all the countries involved to allow vaccinations.
    • The President of Somalia has put his personal support behind the drive to clear the outbreak in the Horn of Africa, which originated from a person travelling from Nigeria to Somalia.
    • The Red Cross and Red Crescent are now assisting vaccinators to gain access to areas previously barred to them.  And in some areas police forces are officially mobilised to guard vaccinators.
  • You may not be aware that there are 3 types of Polio Virus, types 1, 2, and 3.  Type 2 is already eradicated.  There has not been a case of Type 3 in 11 months and it is expected that eradication will be declared in 1 months