We need to not stop till every last child has been vaccinated against polio on the face of the earth. Right now we are down to 1 percent–99 percent of children in the world being polio-free. Let’s go from one to none.
Sounds daunting, right?
Rukhsar, the little girl above is the last known case of polio in India. A decade ago, India was responsible for 85% of the world’s cases of polio. India has been declared polio free for a year–a tremendous accomplishment. India is a shining example of the power we have to make this happen in the last 3 countries.
It will take the world’s commitment.
Yesterday I got the rare opportunity for an ordinary person to sit in a General Assembly at the United Nations and hear world leaders come together on polio eradication. I was awestruck. I had no idea we would be in the same room with Presidents of countries, prime ministers, Bill Gates, the secretary of health and human services for the U.S., global health care leaders and more. I feel compelled after listening to them to do whatever I can to motivate and inspire the global motherhood to also get behind this effort. No other mother should needlessly lose her child to this crippling and sometimes fatal disease.
“This is a matter of health and justice. When children are protected against, they are better protected against other diseases,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “We need to make the right commitment and take the action towards a polio-free world for the next generations.”
The pieces are coming together.
“This is one war we will win,” Goodluck Jonathon, President of Nigeria
Leaders are coming together to unite in this fight.New partners are raising their hands and giving resources and dollars.State-of-the-art GPS trackers are being used to ensure the on-the-ground workers are delivering the vaccines. World health organizations are working to bring the costs of vaccines down. And satellite maps are being used to find remote areas where children are living so teams can be sent in. And countries are stepping up to help with security issues as the needs are often in conflict areas.
We all have the opportunity to be a part of history by putting an end to polio for generations to come. This is an unprecedented show of unity from countries, corporations and organizations like the Global Poverty Project, Rotary International, UN Foundation Shot@Life, governments and corporations and citizens like you and me. Did you know that 3/4 of all donations come from individuals, not corporations?
Follow the hashtag #endpolio