In 1996, the great African leader Nelson Mandela launched the Kick Polio Out of Africa campaign with Rotary International’s support, setting out a vision for a polio-free Africa. At the time, wild polio paralysed 75,000 children each year. To protect communities from this crippling disease, African leaders, health workers, volunteers, parents, global donors and organizations united to reach every child with polio vaccines.
On 25 August 2020, after four years without a single case of wild polio, the African region has been certified free of wild poliovirus. Decades of extraordinary investment has paid off.
Yet, the job is not finished. These efforts must continue to prevent wild polio from returning and to end all forms of polio for good – both in Africa and globally.