Brazzaville 25th August 2020 – The Africa Regional Certification Commission certified the WHO African Region as wild polio-free after four years without a case. With this historic milestone, five of the six WHO regions – representing over 90% of the world’s population – are now free of the wild poliovirus, moving the world closer to achieving global polio eradication.
Polio is a virus which spreads from person to person, usually through contaminated water. It can lead to paralysis by attacking the nervous system. The poliovirus is transmitted from person to person, mainly through a recto-oral route or, less frequently, through contaminated water or food, and multiplies inside the intestines. While there is no cure for polio, the disease can be prevented through the administration of a simple and effective vaccine. Two out of three strains of wild polio virus have been eradicated worldwide. Efforts are underway across every country to rapidly boost immunity levels in children and protect them from polio paralysis. “Ending wild polio virus in Africa is one of the greatest public health achievements of our time and provides powerful inspiration for all of us to finish the job of eradicating polio globally,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
DCVMN company members are proud of contributing towards eradication with supply of polio vaccines to the African continent.
Despite a challenging year for global health, the certification of the African region as wild poliovirus-free is a sign of hope and progress. The resources and expertise used to eliminate wild polio have significantly contributed to Africa’s public health and outbreak response systems. The polio programme provides health benefits to local communities, from supporting the African region’s response to COVID-19 to bolstering routine immunization against other vaccine-preventable diseases.
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