Several heads of states as well as officials from donor countries have committed to help eradicate polio. The presidents of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria who attended a United Nation’s led meeting have pledged to make sure their country’s health departments do all they can to help eliminate polio for their countries.

“Our Commitment to the Next Generation: The Legacy of a Polio-free World”polio

“This decisive moment is a matter of health and justice. Every child should have the right to start life with equal protection from this disease. That’s why I have made eradicating polio a top priority for my second term as Secretary-General.”

Polio, also known as poliomyelitis, is a highly contagious viral infection which can be prevented by taking a vaccinepoliosmyelositisinflammation

A child receiving a polio vaccine in Brazil

the total number of polio cases globally this year is lower than it ever was, and there are fewer countries affected by polio than at any moment in historyWorld Health Organization announced that India, once a hotspot, had been polio-free for 12 months

“The evidence is clear: if we all do our part, we can and will end this disease. But we must act quickly and give ourselves the very best chance to succeed. When we defeat polio, it will motivate us to aim for other great health and development milestones.”

  • Nigeria
    Year to date 2012 – 33. Total 2011 – 62. Most recent reported case – 1st Sept, 2012. Nigeria has been trying hard to get all its children vaccinated. In Kano state, northern Nigeria, parents were warned of stiff fines and possible imprisonment if they refused to have their children vaccinated against polio.

  • Pakistan
    Year to date 2012 – 37. Total 2011 – 91. Most recent reported case – 1st Sept, 2012, 2012.

  • Afghanistan
    Year to date 2012 – 18. Total 2011 – 80. Most recent reported case – 28-Aug, 2012.

  • India
    Year to date 2012 – 0. Total 2011 – 1. Most recent reported case – 134th Jan, 2011.

  • Chad
    Year to date 2012 – 5. Total 2011 – 132. Most recent reported case – 14th Jun, 2012, 2012.

  • Democratic Republic of Congo
    Year to date 2012 – 0. Total 2011 – 79. Most recent reported case – 20th Dec, 2012.

  • Angola
    Year to date 2012 – 0. Total 2011 – 4. Most recent reported case – 7 Jul, 2011.

  • Niger
    Year to date 2012 – 0. Total 2011 – 2. Most recent reported case – 22 Dec, 2011.

  • CAR
    Year to date 2012 – 0. Total 2011 – 4. Most recent reported case – 8th Dec, 2011.

  • China
    Year to date 2012 – 0. Total 2011 – 10. Most recent reported case – 9th Oct, 2011.

  • Guinea
    Year to date 2012 – 0. Total 2011 – 2. Most recent reported case – 3rd Aug 2011.

  • Kenya
    Year to date 2012 – 0. Total 2011 – 1. Most recent reported case – 30th Jul, 2011.

  • Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
    Year to date 2012 – 0. Total 2011 – 36. Most recent reported case – 24th Jul, 2011.

  • Mali
    Year to date 2012 – 0. Total 2011 – 7. Most recent reported case – 23rd June, 2011.

  • Congo
    Year to date 2012 – 0. Total 2011 – 1. Most recent reported case – 22nd Jan 2011.

  • Gabon
    Year to date 2012 – 0. Total 2011 – 1. Most recent reported case – 15th Jan, 2011.

  • Total in endemic countries
    Year to date 2012 – 145. Total 2011 – 650.

  • Total in other countries
    Year to date 2012 – 5. Total 2011 – 309.



“(We are) working hard to depoliticize the whole thing. In no way should this campaign be associated with just the West. This is the whole world working together to eradicate a disease.”

  • Spinal polio – the motor neurons in the spinal cord are attacked, leaving the patient paralyzed in the arms and legs. There may also be breathing difficulties.

  • Bulbar Polio – the neurons which allow us to see, taste, swallow and breathe are affected

  • Bulbospinal polio – a combination of both spinal a bulbar polio

Who is at higher risk of becoming infected?

What causes polio?

What are the symptoms of polio?sore throatheadachefatiguemeningitisfever

Is there a cure for polio?antibioticsphysical therapy

Some famous people who became infected with polio
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) – the 32nd President of the United States. Some wonder whether it was polio or Guillain- Barré syndrome.

  • Niel Young (born 1945) – singer/songwriter/guitarist. Niel Young caught polio when he was five years old during an epidemic in 1951.

  • Alan Alda (born 1936) – actor, played the role of Hawkeye Pierce in M*A*S*H, a popular television series. Alda became infected when he was seven years old during an epidemic.

  • Mia Farrow (born 1945) – actress. Farrow became UNICEF goodwill ambassador in 2000 and campaigns for the anti-polio fight. When she was nine years old she collapsed and was diagnosed with polio. Farrow was hospitalized for eight months; an iron lung was used to help her to breathe.

  • Donald Sutherland (born 1935) – actor. Sutherland became infected when he was a child. He says that while he was bedridden he developed a love of reading.

  • Francis Ford Coppola (born 1939) – film director, producer, and screenwriter. Coppola said “When I was nine I was confined to a room for over a year with polio, and because polio is a child’s illness, they kept every other kid away from me. I remember being pinned to this bed, and longing for friends and company.”

  • Ian Dury (1942-2000) – rock-n-roll singer/songwriter. He was leader of the band “Ian Dury and the Blockheads”. He became ill with polio at the age of 7, his hand and leg were left shriveled. Drury was a UNICEF campaigner.

  • William John Little (1810-1894) – founder of the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, London. Little was the first person to identify cerebral palsy. When he was two years old, he became infected with poliomyelitis and had a deformed foot for the rest of his life. He subsequently chose to become a doctor so that he could find a cure for his foot.

  • Jack Nicklaus (born 1940) – a famous retired professional golfer. Nicklaus caught polio at the age of 13. Although he recovered with no paralysis, he suspects he probably has post-polio syndrome (sore joints). Nicklaus’ sister also became infected, she probably caught the disease from him, and could not walk for 12 months.