No country or organization could have done it alone. Just as viruses aren’t constrained by international boundaries, neither are successful efforts to conquer them. Last week’s certification of Africa as free of wild poliovirus is an achievement in global partnership.
African soccer teams in the 1990s raised awareness with a campaign to “Kick Polio Out of Africa.” African rulers and frontline health workers worked hard for that goal. WHO did strategic planning. UNICEF managed vaccines. CDC headed a global laboratory network. Massive support came from Rotary International, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and dozens of donor governments.
Collaboration and commitment made this achievement possible. What other viruses might we conquer if we decide to work together?
9/1/2020 05:01:43 pm
No one can speak to this better than you, Sarah! What a remarkable achievement!
9/1/2020 08:01:38 pm
Thanks, Patty! Yes, it's been a long endeavor in which hundreds of thousands of participants played a part. Lots to be proud of, and most of all grateful for all the children who will grow up able to walk, who otherwise might not have.
9/9/2020 06:52:09 am
Ha, ha! Yes, national soccer teams all over Africa took part, made T-shirts, used televised games to promote polio vaccination. What a kick!
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I'm a historian who writes novels and literary nonfiction. My home base is Madison, Wisconsin.