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Poliomyelitis, commonly called polio is a disease cause by poliovirus that attacks the nervous system and causes paralysis of even death if it is not detected on time. The World health Assembly in 1988 called for efforts towards worldwide eradication of polio worldwide which has helped to reduce the number of people affected by the disease. Through the aggressive immunization efforts by usingoral polio vaccines (OPV) targeting young children, and disease surveillance countries have been able to reduce the cases of polio across the world(WHO, 2017).

The polio virus is still in circulation in Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan as of 2017.Wild poliovirus cases, which are the most dangerous type of polio, have reduced by almost 99% since 1988. Children under the age of five are most susceptible to this virus (WHO, 2019).

It is reported that 2-5% of children who contract the virus die while the rate from death in adults rises to 15-30%. The death by polio is as a result of paralysis of the breathing muscles that leads to suffocation and death(Epidemiology and prevention of vaccine-preventable diseases, 2004). It is possible for a child to recovers from polio to have joint pains later on in life from the disease which increases fatality in adulthood.

The fight against polio has been successful over the last three decades leading to the eradication of the disease in most countries and subsequently eradicating deaths caused by the disease. Countries around the world have gained certification from WHO to declare their state polio free. It is WHO’s goal that by 2030, there will be no polio cases globally.





Organization, W. H. (2017). Poliomyelitis. Copenhagen: World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe.

Organization, W. H. (2019, July 22). Poliomyelitis: Key Facts. Retrieved September 27, 2020, from World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/poliomyelitis

Public Health Foundation/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.(2004). Epidemiology and prevention of vaccine-preventable diseases.