Africa goes one year without a case of polio
On 11 August, we will mark a tremendous milestone: one full year without a single case of polio caused
by wild poliovirus in Africa.
The magnitude of this achievement can hardly be overstated. A polio‐free Africa has been within sight, so
near and yet so far, for over a decade. The hard work and commitment that have brought us to this point
have been nothing short of heroic. Tens of thousands of health workers reached hundreds of millions of
children with vaccine, in some of the most difficult conditions imaginable. Together, we have done what
once seemed impossible: We have stopped polio in Africa.
Yet this progress, momentous as it is, is still fragile. As long as polio exists in the two remaining endemic
countries of Pakistan and Afghanistan, the virus still has the potential to spread and to spark new
outbreaks. Now, more than ever, we need the power of all of Rotary to carry us through to the end: not
just a polio‐free Africa, but a polio‐free world.