Today is the World Polio day, a day where stakeholders in the fight against polio come together to evaluate how far they have gone.
So, this is as good a time as any to evaluate how far the world has come in the fight against polio.
Polio is a disease that has existed as long as humans have been in existence and it is difficult to say exactly when polio transmission was first recorded in Nigeria.
From almost 50,000 cases reported in the 1970s to less than 80 cases reported in 2015, the world has surely come a long way in the fight towards polio eradication.
Currently, polio is endemic only in two countries and the recent setback Nigeria suffered in her fight to becoming polio free fully underscores the importance of continuous efforts to ensure that polio is fully eradicated from the world.
This year, various activities are being planned and implemented to raise awareness to the importance of vaccination in polio eradication.
Rotary International, which has been championing the polio eradication program for almost a century is holding series of events from fundraising to awareness walks all in a bid to call attention to what is needed to win this fight against polio. In Nigeria, the Rotary clubs in Abuja on Saturday came together with partners both local and international for an END POLIO NOW WALK. It was great to see staff and friends of SLNI at this walk, demonstrating the fact that this is everybody’s fight and we all must get involved.
Everybody has a role to play: from the parents who agree to have their children vaccinated to the government who provide the vaccine to the funding agencies and partners, to those selfless men and women who go into communities vaccinating children in hard to reach areas and even to those of us who raise awareness and educate people on the importance of routine immunization and vaccination.
Together, we can (and we will) KICK POLIO OUT OF NIGERIA!