Health workers in Africa administering polio vaccine UNICEF Ethiopia/Flickr

The Polio Heroes

Since 1988, the number of annual cases of polio worldwide has dropped more than 99.9%. The credit goes to an international coalition of visionary people: the leaders who make polio eradication a high priority in their countries and the funders who underwrite the work of combating the disease.

SEATTLE – The world’s progress in fighting polio might be one of the best-kept secrets in global health. Indeed, my heroes for 2015 are the men and women on the front line in the fight against the disease.

Since 1988, the number of annual cases of polio worldwide has dropped more than 99.9%. The disease used to paralyze an estimated 350,000 children every year; in 2015, the number of cases is likely to be fewer than 100.

Moreover, the year 2015 marked another important milestone in our mission to wipe out this debilitating scourge: For the first time in human history, Africa marked a year without any wild polio cases.

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