The effort to eradicate polio is a global endeavor that began a full century ago. The ACTION polio timeline gives a snapshot of investments that have been made globally in to the fight against polio, and captures some of the milestones and progress that has been made as a result.
March of Dimes fundraising campaign launched to fund research to find a vaccine.
1st vaccine against polio developed by Dr. Jonas Salk.
New “live” oral vaccine developed by Dr. Albert Sabin rapidly adopted worldwide.
Rotary International launches PolioPlus, kickstarting fundraising and volunteer efforts to immunize children worldwide.
Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) launched with core partners Rotary International, WHO, CDC, and UNICEF to scale up the response at a time when over 350,000 children were paralyzed each year by polio across 125 countries.
US$1.54 billion contributed by 21 countries to establish GPEI and roll-out immunization campaigns. Highest contributors: United States, UK, Japan.
Global Polio Laboratory Network established to enhance disease detection.
On the success of large-scale immunization programs, the Americas, Western Pacific and Europe regions reported their last cases of polio in 1991, 1997 & 1998 respectively and are formally certified polio-free three years later.
Immunization programs scale up: for example, in 1995, over 56 million children are vaccinated in 19 European and Eastern Mediterranean countries and 87 million are vaccinated in India alone.
Scaled up vaccination campaigns reach 575 million children vaccinated in 94 countries, including millions in Afghanistan,Pakistan, and conflict-affected countries in Africa.
Further scale-up includes synchronized National Immunization Days in 23 countries in Africa to reach 80 million children, the largest-ever synchronized public health campaign at that time.
US$1.75 billion contributed by 36 countries to fund GPEI’s 2004-2008 strategic plan focused on scaling up supplementary and routine immunization, enhancing surveillance, investing in certification processes and new tools, and integrating within national health systems. Highest contributors: US, UK, EC, Canada, Germany.
New vaccines tailored to specific polio strains for supplementary immunization become available.
Large-scale polio outbreaks in Yemen and Indonesia – which had both eliminated transmission – were successfully stopped, generating lessons for outbreak response.
More than 400 million children are immunized in 27 countries and only four endemic countries remain: Afghanistan, India, Nigeria, and Pakistan.
Polio outbreak in about 15 countries in 2009 due to importation had their last WPV case before mid-2010.
US$ 1.7 billion contributed by 34 countries to fund GPEI’s 2009 Programme of Work and 2010-2012 Strategic Plan, focused on targeted approaches in Africa and Asia, improved surveillance and outbreak response, and stronger immunization systems. Highest contributors: US, UK, Germany, Canada, Japan.
India, the country that was regarded as the most difficult place to eradicate polio, recorded their last case of wild poliovirus in 2011.
Six of the eight African countries with new wild poliovirus outbreaks interrupted transmission of polio, including Angola, Chad, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
US$ 2.3 billion contributed by 17 countries toward the total US$ 5.5 billion needed for GPEI’s Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018. Another US$ 1.5 billion is now needed to complete eradication efforts.
In March 2014, the South-East Asian region was certified polio free, reaching a milestone – four fifths of the world’s population live in regions certified to be polio-free.
In June of 2017, GPEI will host a public replenishment to raise the funds needed for polio eradication at the Rotary International Convention in Atlanta.
2020, GPEI resources will have been wound down and critical components of polio programmes will have been integrated into other health services ensuring the world remains polio free.
Contributions and funding captured here are those from national governments only. Additional funding from multilateral agencies, philanthropies, NGOs and private sector donors to GPEI, though not reflected on this tracker, are critical to reaching the end of polio.
Milestones adapted from http://www.polioeradication.org/Polioandprevention/Historyofpolio.aspx