By 2020, the World Could be Free of Polio!

By Samantha Flax

August 10, 2017

We can improve the health of children around the world if we work together as a global community.

For a very long time polio destroyed the lives of many children. Polio causes people to become paralyzed, and it cannot be cured. The road to ending polio began in the 1950s in the U.S., when Dr. Jonas Salk created a life changing polio vaccine, and since then, cases of polio have been steadily decreasing, leading to healthier lives for children and families all around the world.

To put this incredible international progress into perspective: just 30 years ago, there were more than 350,000 cases of polio each year in over 125 countries. Today, wild polio is present in only three countries, and there have only been 8 cases so far this year. This success means that more children are able to go to school, live happy and fulfilled lives, and achieve their dreams. It also means that moms and dads around the world can help protect their children against polio just by visiting a clinic and making sure their kids are vaccinated. Polio could very well become the second disease we’ve ever eradicated in history, following smallpox.

Polio Program Honduras

A recent article in The Guardian shares even more good news in the fight against polio.

UK’s government just announced it will be committing 100 million pounds to reach every last child and get rid of this disease for good. This commitment from the UK means 45 million children will get the vaccines they need each year until 2020. This important step might just lead to the end of polio.

However, our work is not done yet. People and organizations around the world must join the fight against polio to ensure that all children have access to lifesaving vaccines. Because polio is such a contagious disease, just one case could cause all children to be at risk. As long as we continue on this path, and continue this very important fight over the next few years, we can ensure that no child suffers from polio and instead all children can grow up with the chance to thrive and pursue their passions. We can improve the health of children around the world if we work together as a global community.

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