Only one human disease has ever been eradicated. Polio could be next. Follow the timeline below to see what progress we have made and what still needs to be done.
1988: The Global Polio Eradication Initiative is launched. There are 125 polio-endemic countries in the world. Nigeria has 30,000 cases of polio. Until 1988, the disease crippled more than 350,000 children worldwide every year. Government officials, global partners, community leaders and health workers work together to bring vaccine to every child.
2004: In Africa, synchronized National Immunization Days in 23 countries target 80 million children, the largest coordinated polio immunization effort on the continent.
2006: Nigeria records more than 1,000 cases of polio-induced paralysis. The number of polio-endemic countries drops to four (Afghanistan, India, Nigeria, and Pakistan), the lowest in human history at the time.
2008: Nigerian philanthropist and business leader Sir Emeka Offor offers the first of many generous donations to support Rotary’s eradication efforts. To date, his contributions to Rotary’s PolioPlus program total US$2.55 million.
2014: After India and the entire Southeast Asia Region is certified polio-free, only three countries remain endemic (Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan). Nigeria records its last case of wild poliovirus on July 24. To get to this point, health workers immunize 230 million children under the age of 5 across the African continent.
2015: The World Health Organization (WHO) may remove Nigeria from the polio-endemic countries list later this year. However, WHO does not certify a region country as polio-free until it has gone 3 years without a new polio case.
2017: If our progress continues, Nigeria and the entire African region could be certified polio-free.
Nigeria is on track to end polio. But we aren’t done yet. We must continue our efforts in order to ensure Nigeria and Africa are certified polio-free in 2017.Our world is 99.9% polio-free. The chance to end a disease forever is within our grasp. We need your help to keep polio from returning to Nigeria.