Eradicating polio so no child is ever at risk of infantile paralysis

The world has made extraordinary progress in its fight against polio and we are closer than ever to elimination. Only one other disease, smallpox, has been successfully eradicated by humankind.

Today the disease remains endemic in only three countries – Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. Until poliovirus transmission is interrupted in these countries, all countries remain at risk of importation, especially vulnerable countries with weak public health and immunization services, and travel or trade links to endemic countries. Progress against polio is fragile and requires unwavering commitment. If we fail to eradicate the disease, the world could see up to 200,000 new cases annually.

3

countries

remain endemic – Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria

29

cases

of wild poliovirus reported in 2018

99%

decrease

in the number of polio cases since 1985

Through our efforts on the ground in Pakistan and our commitments to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) and Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, the UAE is working to eliminate polio from every town, village and country in the world. His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, has personally committed US$ 167 million to global efforts to eliminate polio.

UAE Pakistan Assistance Program

Communities at risk for polio also face extreme poverty and poor access to sanitation, basic health care, infrastructure and nutritious food. The UAE Pakistan Assistance Program (UAE PAP) leverages the UAE’s expertise on the ground to reach remote locations. The program takes a coordinated approach to poverty eradication by delivering food aid, building water treatment plants and spearheading infrastructure projects to connect these communities to essential services and markets.

 

  • 64 water purification treatment plants built
  • 898 kilometers of roads built in SWAT valley
  • 43 primary and secondary schools built
Emirates Polio Campaign

UAE PAP initiated the Emirates Polio Campaign to enable the administration of vaccinations in areas of the country previously thought unreachable. Since the campaign’s launch, cases of polio-related child paralysis have dropped dramatically, freeing a generation from the lifelong burden of disability.

 

  • 71 million Pakistani children vaccinated
  • 410 million doses of polio vaccine administered*
*Provided through the Emirates Polio Campaign between 2014 and 2018

About Polio

Poliomyelitis, or polio, is a highly infectious viral disease caused by the poliovirus. It mainly affects young children and can cause paralysis in some cases. There is no cure for polio, but it can be prevented by vaccination.

“I spend a lot of time on polio, part of it talking to the funders to make sure they continue their commitment even though eradication is taking longer than any of us would like. I remind them of the huge benefits of success, and the risk that the disease will return in a big way if we don’t finish the job.”

- Bill Gates