With no recorded cases since 2016, the World Health Organisation has declared Africa free of the wild polio virus.
The United Nations specialised agency on public health described the feat as “one of the greatest achievements in public health history.”
The polio virus once killed or maimed hundreds of thousands of children every year and led to summertime lockdowns for children.
This was contained in a Press release jointly authored by the WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus; and President of Rotary International, Holger Knaack.
The release was emailed to the media.
The statement titled, ‘Creating a great polio legacy in the African region’, reads in part, “Delivering polio vaccines to every child in the African region and wiping out the wild virus is no small feat and the human resources, skills, and experience gained in the process leaves behind a legacy in how to tackle diseases and reach the poorest and most marginalized communities with life-saving services.
“Leadership from all levels of government across party lines, a historic public-private partnership that raised billions, millions of health workers reaching children across the region – from conflict zones to remote areas only accessible by motorbike or helicopter – and a culture of continual improvement were all critical to overcoming challenges and bottlenecks.