The Africa Regional Certification Commission (ARCC) has declared the continent free of ‘wild polio’.
According to the details, the announcement of the certification of this milestone during the video conference of the World Health Organization (WHO) means that the WHO will eradicate this disease in all 47 countries of the African region which can lead to incurable disability.
The last case of wild polio in Africa was reported four years ago in northeastern Nigeria.
The independent Africa Regional Commission for Certification of #Polio Eradication will officially declare on Tuesday 25 August, that the World Health Organization, African Region is free of #Wildpolio virus.#AfricakicksoutPolio#endpolio pic.twitter.com/ctMlbFzjD2
— WHO Nigeria (@WHONigeria) August 24, 2020
Earlier, the WHO said, “Thanks to the relentless efforts by governments, donors, frontline health workers and communities, up to 1.8 million children have been saved from the crippling lifelong paralysis.”
“The joy is indescribable, we have been part of this marathon for over 30 years,” said Tunji Funsho, a Nigerian doctor and local anti-polio coordinator for Rotary International.
He said that this milestone has made significant progress in the complete eradication of the disease globally.
“It’s a real achievement, I feel both happy and relieved at the same time,” he said.
It should be noted that ‘poliomyelitis’ or ‘wild polio’ is a highly contagious disease that attacks the spinal cord of children and makes them disabled for life.
It was available in many parts of the world until the vaccine was developed in the 1950s, but it was out of reach for poor countries in Asia and Africa.
At the end of 1988, according to WHO figures, there were 3.5 million cases of wild polio worldwide, compared to more than 70,000 in Africa in 1996 alone.
However, due to global efforts and more than 30 years of funding, cases of the disease have been reported only in Afghanistan and Pakistan this year.