Monday, November 29

How the Afghanistan crisis threatens global polio eradication

  • Raúl Rivas González
  • The Conversation*

A vaccinated girl

Image source, Getty Images

Since 1988, polio cases have fallen by 99.9%, but the disease remains a public health emergency of international concern.

Polio is an ogre that frightened the world during the 20th century, but successful vaccination campaigns have caused the disease to be besieged, persecuted and cornered in such a way that it is currently endemic in just two countries: Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) has launched a new strategic plan for the period 2022-2026 that aims to interrupt all polio transmission in Afghanistan and Pakistan by the end of 2023.

Evolution and effects of polio

Until the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, polio behaved as a sporadic disease that mainly affected children.

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