It’s hard to believe that certain parts of the world still suffer from poliomyelitis (polio). This is because the promise of the eradication of polio by the introduction of polio vaccines many years ago seemed to be the magic bullet to propel us further into global polio eradication in a matter of only a few years. So, when WHO announced today that the South-East Asia region, home to a quarter of the world’s population had been certified polio free, it left me feeling startled. It’s very hard to believe that so many people in various parts of the world still suffer from a disease that may very well be classified as ancient due to the appearance of new forms of life-threatening chronic diseases in the world today. This further reminds me that we are people that live in a world, where diseases are appearing faster than we can combat them. But I must certainly commend WHO for their relentless efforts for the global eradication of polio, and very well succeeding at it. This is because, this recent accomplishment has now ensured that 80% of the world’s population will now live in certified polio-free regions, and this is a tremendous accomplishment. Today is certainly a day to remember because so many lives have now been saved from polio and this date will surely go down in history books. There are two other regions under WHO that haven’t been certified polio-free but I hope that as humans striving for a safer and albeit disease-free world, that we all begin to work towards a time when we can fully combat diseases the moment they appear because I believe that’ll indeed be the greatest accomplishment by man, and when that time comes, it’ll be an accomplishment to celebrate.

For further information visit the WHO website, and here is an excerpt of the announcement below.

“I take this opportunity to thank and acknowledge the thousands of frontline health workers, volunteers and community members in the countries of this Region for their relentless hard work, dedication, patience and tolerance over the many years taken to get to this point.” – Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia

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IMAGE CREDIT: WHO