International Affairs


World Polio Day observed globally


Who: World Polio Day
Where: Globally
What: Observed
When: 24 October 2015
Why: To create awareness about the hazards of the crippling disease
24 October: World Polio Day
World Polio Day was observed on 24 October 2015. The day was observed to create awareness about the hazards of the crippling disease.

The Day was established by Rotary International over a decade ago to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk, who led the first team to develop a vaccine against poliomyelitis.

Use of this inactivated poliovirus vaccine and subsequent widespread use of the oral poliovirus, developed by Albert Sabin, led to the establishment of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in 1988. Since then, GPEI has reduced polio worldwide by 99percent.

A Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) aims to eradicate polio worldwide by 2018. GPEI is a public-private partnership led by national governments and spearheaded by the World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and UNICEF.

According to UNICEF data, polio does not exist in most of the world, as the cases are down by 99.9 percent worldwide. There have been 51 cases of wild polio virus globally since the beginning of 2015, compared with 242 wild polio cases for 2014.

Just two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan, have reported cases of wild polio so far in 2015, while on 24 July 2015, Nigeria, Africa’s last remaining polio-endemic country, recorded the first year in history without a single case.

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