Polio can be eradicated very soon, but the challenges need to be met swiftly and with resources.

By Joe Stahlman, Charlie Cogan and Tim Mulcrone
Nov, 11, 2022

Why is there still polio in the world today?

Around this time of the year, global health experts and partners come together to reflect on the progress made on the road to polio eradication, honor those on the frontlines, and reflect on the work that still needs to be done. Two of the original partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) are UN agencies: the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF. Rotary International, a founding partner of the GPEI works closely with these partners as well as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and national governments to eradicate polio worldwide. The GPEI has been a huge success, but the job is not yet done. At first, the progress was amazing. In 1988, when the GPEI was formed, there were more than 350,000 cases of polio in 125 countries across the globe. Today, only Pakistan and Afghanistan are still endemic to the wild poliovirus with less than 50 wild polio cases in the world, including a handful of cases in Africa that are traced back to Pakistan. In 1988, there were three strains of the wild poliovirus:  Types 1, 2, and 3. Now, only Type 1 remains.


READ MORE AT minnpost.com