One of the most important public health accomplishments of the late 1970′s was the abolishment of smallpox, and it was all completed in approximately 10 years. For more than 20 years now, the world has been trying to wipe out polio, but it’s not quite there yet.
Bill Gates, Microsoft founder and philanthropist, pledged $255 million to help destroy polio once and for all. Officials from Rotary International and the governments of Germany and the U.K. all joined Gates, and together the group pledged a total of $635 million toward destroying the disease.
last year there were less than 2000 cases of polio reported in the world, but they occurred in some precarious areas such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Northern India. Also, the amount of cases has increased some from previous years.
In 1988 officials began the polio eradication effort which goal was to free the world of polio by 2000. Unfortunately, getting rid of polio has been harder than predicted partly because numerous people infected with polio show no clear symptoms. The leader of Rotary’s polio efforts, Carol Pandak, said that there is a new 5 year strategy for ending polio which will run through 2013. She also indicated that because freeing the world of polio has proven to be more difficult than expected, they do not set a specific date anymore to end polio.