AFRICA KICKS OUT WILD POLIO
wild polio cases averted*
oral polio vaccine doses
children vaccinated multiple times every year
volunteer vaccinators support polio campaigns every year
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.
WILD POLIO ERADICATION IN AFRICA
EXPLORE THE MAP
All 47 countries in the African region have kicked out wild poliovirus. Hover over each country to see when the last case was reported and when it was declared free of wild poliovirus.
TIMELINE: POLIO ERADICATION IN AFRICA
The Legacy of Polio eradication in Africa
Stopping wild polio in Africa has brought benefits far beyond saving children from paralysis. Africa’s health systems and public health programmes are much stronger because of the investments made in immunization, disease surveillance and outbreak response. Today, a vast network of trained polio staff and community workers help protect millions of children from vaccine-preventable diseases, while responding to health emergencies, like COVID-19. Polio’s legacy must continue to be leveraged and built on in order to achieve other major health goals in the African region.
FACES OF POLIO ERADICATION IN AFRICA
Stopping wild polio in the African region was made possible by the tireless dedication of thousands of frontline heroes, polio survivors and champions who devoted countless hours and travelled thousands of miles, sometimes at great risk, to protect children with the vaccine.
PILLARS OF POLIO ERADICATION
Eradicating all forms of polio in the African region requires a combination of strategies, adapted to the continent’s challenges of distance, migration and insecurity.