CDC and Partners Are “Doggedly Dedicated” to Eradicating Polio

A “cold chain” officer (left) in Nigeria checks to be sure polio vaccine vials are correctly packed..

The global effort to eradicate polio is the largest public health initiative in history. Since 1988, CDC has contributed to global efforts to eradicate the disease and strengthen the capacity of countries to control other deadly and debilitating childhood diseases. At the 126th Session of the Executive Board of the World Health Assembly in January 2010, delegates committed to finishing the job of polio eradication by the end of 2012.

Today, just four countries—Afghanistan, India, Nigeria, and Pakistan—have sustained transmission of polio. In India, CDC’s Dr. Hamid Jafari is working with the World Health Organization and the government of India to investigate every polio outbreak and ensure every child in India is vaccinated against the debilitating disease. Several times a year, on regularly scheduled National Immunization Days, more than 2.5 million health workers go door-to-door in India, vaccinating 172 million children. The goal is to prevent the polio virus from finding a group of unimmunized children and continuing the spread of the disease.

Dr. Jafari’s investigation of outbreaks in India was recently reported on ABC News. For more information about progress in eradicating polio, visit the Global Polio Eradication Initiative pages on the World Health Organization’s web site.