Rotary Voices

150724_mcgovernBy Michael McGovern, chair of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee

Today is a special milestone for global health and for every Rotary member. Today, Nigeria has gone one year with no new cases of wild poliovirus.

This is the longest the country has ever gone without a case of polio and a critical step on the path toward a polio-free Africa. We’ve come a long way; it was only a decade ago that polio struck 12,631 people in Africa – three-quarters of all cases in the world.

A vaccinator in Maiduguri looks for children that were missed during the mop up phase of an immunization drive in Northern Nigeria. Photo by Diego Ibarra Sánchez A vaccinator looks for children that were missed during the mop up phase of a polio immunization drive in Maiduguri, Nigeria. Photo by Diego Ibarra Sánchez

Last year, thanks to its extensive polio eradication infrastructure, Africa’s most populous nation was able to reduce polio cases by 90 percent and thwart the deadly Ebola virus with a swift, “world-class” response.

I had the…

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