How Polio Eradication Has Had Positive Spinoffs for Public Health

Four decades ago, an estimated 350,000 people were paralysed each year by the poliovirus in more than 125 countries. This led the World Health Assembly in 1988 to adopt a resolution for the worldwide eradication of polio, drawing inspiration from the eradication of smallpox.The global strategy to eradicate polio involves widespread vaccination as part of routine healthcare services as well as mass vaccination campaigns. The polio eradication programme in Africa directly combated a severe debilitating disease. But it also provided a platform for broader healthcare services on the continent. Polio eradication created renewed demand for vaccination services and innovative ways to deliver healthcare services, writes Charles Shey Wiysonge for The Conversation Africa.

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Polio vaccination (file photo).

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