Africa Kicks Out Wild Poliovirus
25th August was a momentous day in the decades-long efforts to rid the world of polio, as Africa was officially certified free of wild poliovirus. Visit the World Health Organization Africa Region’s YouTube Channel to watch an amazing video, hearing from health workers and polio survivors on what this historic achievement means for the continent of Africa.
From Fear To Freedom
In the 1900s poliovirus prompted fear and confusion. Summer lockdowns were common, with public places like beaches closed. The @WHO Twitter page features a video, watched over 1.2 million times, looking back at the history of polio, from the early 20th Century, Cold War, new millennium and present day.
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) August 25, 2020
Power Of Partnerships
As one of six organisations in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, Rotary works alongside other organisations in ending polio. @unicefchief on Twitter, Henrietta H. Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF, shared her thoughts on this “wonderful milestone”.
A wonderful milestone: Africa is officially free of wild polio virus thanks to dedicated health workers, vaccinators and communities.
— Henrietta H. Fore (@unicefchief) August 26, 2020
Mobilising A Continent
In a time before technology was common place around the world, polio awareness was raised by classic poster campaigns. Visit Rotary International’s Facebook page for a delve into their archives at some of the early social mobilisation posters to reach communities across Africa.
On 25 August 2020, the African region was officially certified wild poliovirus-free. Posters from Rotary’s archives…
How Rotary Got The Ball Rolling
“It was Rotary… that kicked off the polio endgame in 1988” writes Jeffrey Kluger in TIME. You can find this terrific article looking at not only the route to Africa’s certification, but also the path to global eradication via the @EndPolioNow Twitter page.
My Polio Story
Although polio has not been seen in the UK for many years, the effects of the disease still linger. Head to the Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland YouTube Channel to learn how polio has impacted the lives of four of our Rotary Polio Ambassadors.