World Polio Day is an attempt to recognize the unrelenting efforts of frontline health workers to provide life-saving polio vaccines to all children. This day also reminds us of the enormous value of safe, effective, and reliable vaccines. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) eradicates polio and stops the misery from this dreadful infection.
World Polio Day 2021: Highlights
- World Polio Day is commemorated every year on October 24
- An opportunity to highlight global efforts toward a polio-free world
- Honor the frontline health workers in the fight to eradicate polio across the globe
- This Year’s Theme is “Delivering on a Promise”
- India stopped polio in January 2011 through successful mass vaccination
World Polio Day 2021 Date
World Polio Day is observed on October 24 every year to highlight global efforts towards a polio-free world and honor the frontline healthcare workers for their efforts to eradicate polio from all parts of the globe.
World Polio Day 2021 Significance
Polio is a highly contagious and dangerous disease, caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. Such a risk factor for 1 in 200 people with the disease is at risk of permanent disability, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Therefore, eradication of polio is considered to be one of the most important tasks in the world. That is why World Polio Day is an important event, aimed at raising polio awareness and eradicating polio.
Aims of World Polio Day
World Polio Day is a good time to spread awareness about the dangers of this disease, as well as the great need to vaccinate children on a daily basis, in order to eradicate the virus. On this day, organizations around the world, such as Rotary International, WHO, and so on, are celebrating the people and organizations involved in the global war on polio and their efforts to eradicate the virus. Along with this celebratory note, it also seeks to spread awareness to all, of the importance of preventing the virus and any possible outbreaks, as well as making efforts to raise funds to achieve this goal.
World Polio Day Theme 2021
This Year’s Theme is “Delivering on a Promise” which signifies the declaration adopted in 1988 at the 41st health assembly to eradicate polio.
And because of the toil of many health workers, governments and organisations, billions of children have received the gift of a polio-free life. 99.9% reduction in wild poliovirus transmission has been achieved and 5 of 6 WHO regions are eliminated, but still there is so much to do more in this field.
History of World Polio Day
Founded by Rotary International to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk, a medical researcher who led the first group to develop a polio vaccine, World Polio Day has been observed for more than a decade now. Jonas Salk developed a poliovirus vaccine that came into use in 1955, after which Albert Sabin developed a polio vaccine that began in 1961.
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The establishment of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) took place in 1988, presented by Rotary International and the WHO, where there were approximately 3,50,000 cases worldwide. To date, several regions such as the United States, Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Western Pacific have been declared free of polio. However, countries such as Pakistan and Afghanistan are still experiencing rare cases of the disease.
Governments With 6 Organisations Take Action to End Global Polio
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative is a public-private partnership led by national governments and six key partners – World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), UNICEF, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Gavi, Vaccine Alliance.
How Is World Polio Day Celebrated?
On this day, around the world, international organizations such as Rotary International and other clubs and similar organizations are hosting a number of events and fundraisers, with the aim of raising polio awareness. Events can be in a variety of forms, from meetings and walks to planning competitions in schools and clubs. And it shows that in the global war on polio, no member is too young to donate!
What Is Polio?
Polio, or poliomyelitis, is a disabling and possibly deadly infectious disease caused by the poliovirus. It invades the brain and spinal cord, causing paralysis. The virus reaches from person-to-person and only affects humans. The children are particularly vulnerable. Polio has no cure; vaccination is the only way to protect children and stop the disease from expanding.
Poliomyelitis (Polio) Symptoms
Highly infectious Poliovirus’s incubation period is usually 7–10 days but can range from 4–35 days. Poliomyelitis (polio) largely affects children under 5 years of age. The virus enters the body through the mouth and grows in the intestine. It then attacks the nervous system. Majority infected people experience no or mild symptoms and the disease commonly goes unrecognized.
Some patients face initial symptoms of fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness in the neck, and pain in the limbs. The symptoms remain for 2–10 days and the patients recover in many cases. In some cases, the virus causes paralysis mainly in the legs permanently. Paralysis can occur as rapidly as within a few hours of infection. 5-10% paralyzed patients die because of immobilization of their breathing muscles. The virus spreads quickly especially in areas with poor hygiene and sanitation systems.
Poliomyelitis (Polio) Treatment
Poliomyelitis (polio) has no cure but it can be prevented by immunization. The polio vaccine is given multiple times to protect a child for life. Since 1988, more than 18 million people have been saved from probable paralysis who are able to walk today. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative has prevented an estimated 1.5 million childhood deaths through the systemic administration of vitamin A during polio immunization activities.
The treatment for polio concentrates on alleviating symptoms. The muscles can be stimulated by heat and physical therapy and antispasmodic drugs to relax or improve mobility but does not reverse permanent polio paralysis.
Global Polio Eradication Initiative
In 1988, the World Health Assembly adopted a resolution for the worldwide eradication of polio, marking the launch of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, spearheaded by national governments, WHO, Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), UNICEF, and later joined by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Wild poliovirus cases have decreased by over 99% since 1988, from an estimated 350 000 cases in more than 125 endemic countries to 175 reported cases in 2019.
Of the 3 strains of wild poliovirus (type 1, type 2, and type 3), wild poliovirus type 2 was eradicated in 1999 and no case of wild poliovirus type 3 has been found since the last reported case in Nigeria in November 2012. Both strains have officially been certified as globally eradicated. As of 2020, wild poliovirus type 1 affects two countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
While Many Countries Continue to Fight, India Successfully Stopped Polio
While vaccination is most important in the fight against polio, the strategies to check ongoing transmission of the virus are crucial. When the whole world has controlled polio, the wild poliovirus endemic transmission continues to cause cases in border areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan. In the last 10 years as many as 200,000 new cases every year have arisen all over the world. The nations must ensure polio is eradicated completely, once and for all. India has implemented the strategies for polio eradication by full implementation. India demonstrated great success in stopping polio in January 2011.
World Polio Day 2021 Quotes
- Polio is a crippling and potentially fatal infectious disease. Adopt Sat-Bhakti to eradicate it.
- Do Boond Zindagi ki
- Spare the children, give the vaccine
- Prevent Birth Defect Adopt Sat-Bhakti
- Stop Polio, Vaccinate
- Prevention is better than cure. Immunize children to avoid polio.
- On this 24th October vaccinate your children for polio.
- There is no cure to polio, but safe and effective vaccines.
- Together we can make this world polio free for the generations by vaccination.
- On the occasion of World Polio Day 2021, wake up to make world polio free.
Delivering on a Promise
The GPEI launched the Polio Eradication Strategy 2022-2026 external icon to deliver on a promise made 33 years ago at the 41st World Health Assembly. Since the declaration to eradicate polio adopted in 1988, billions of children have got a polio-free life. There is reduction by 99.9% in wild poliovirus transmission and elimination in 5 of 6 WHO regions. Of course there are persistent challenges that remain to end all forms of polio.
The updated GPEI strategy is to make coordinated efforts to interrupt wild poliovirus type 1 transmission in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the remaining two endemic countries, and stop outbreaks of circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (cVDPVs), which can occur in under- or unimmunized communities. GPEI has come out with a 5-year strategy that elevates efforts in the highest-risk countries and promotes health service integration, surveillance improvement, and community engagement to enhance campaign quality.
Frontline Workers Deliver Continued Serving During Covid-19
There was a threat from the COVID-19 pandemic, but the polio frontline health workers kept engaged to serve millions of children with polio vaccination for eradication and check polio outbreaks. The healthcare workers continued to support national and community responses to other vaccine-preventable disease threats. They provided health protection and safety to children and satisfaction to the families.
Sat-Bhakti Eradicates Fatal Infections
The Supreme God Kabir has described the power of the word Satnaam. Adopt it by taking Naam Initiation (Naam Diksha) from the only Enlightened Saint, Saint Rampal Ji Maharaj. To know more read the sacred book The “Way of Living”