Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content

World Polio Day 2017

Volunteer at one of 350 permanent transit points along the border of Pakistan vaccinates children on the move.

In support of World Polio Day, CDC’s Global Immunization Division (GID) has developed the following:

Message from the Director of CDC’s Center for Global Health

Dr. Rebecca Martin, PhD, Director Center for Global Health at CDC

October 24 is World Polio Day, and it is an opportunity for the global polio eradication community to renew its promise of a polio-free world for future generations. This year’s theme is “A Celebration of the Unsung Heroes of Polio Eradication.” There are many unsung heroes working to make polio eradication possible:  vaccinators, community volunteers, frontline health care workers, surveillance and laboratory staff, and civil society.

In 2016, the world saw the lowest ever number of wild polio cases with only 37. To date in 2017, there have been 12 polio cases reported from two of the three remaining polio endemic countries:  Afghanistan (7) and Pakistan (5). Since 1988, progress against polio has been strong and consistent, with cases reduced by over 99.99%. High-quality polio vaccine campaigns and innovative methods for reaching every child have restricted the virus and put polio eradication within our reach.

The progress made in polio control has been led by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), a public-private partnership led by national governments with five core partners – the World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Its goal is to eradicate polio worldwide.

CDC in Action

CDC experts are diligently working with partners to eradicate polio around the world. During World Polio Day we highlight some examples of the work done by the “unsung heroes” of this effort:

Featured Story

CDC staff work in the Emergency Operations Center 24 hours a day, every day, to monitor and respond to public health crises.

Unsung Heroes of Polio Eradication Since the launch of the GPEI in 1988, the number of polio cases decreased by over 99% due to the heroic efforts of everyone involved in the polio program and the sustained commitment of partners and donors. Of the many unsung heroes of polio eradication efforts, CDC provides direct support to three major programs: the Stop Transmission of Polio (STOP), the National Stop Transmission of Polio (NSTOP) Program, and the CDC polio lab. Learn more about the contributions and impacts of these programs.

Other stories include:



Overcoming obstacles to polio eradication in Pakistan: Get a glimpse behind the scenes of polio eradication efforts through the eyes of a Rotarian who works to prevent this disease in her home country of Pakistan. Experience what it was like to work in an area that not only has security challenges, but was also riddled with misconceptions about the polio vaccine. Learn how these unsung heroes overcame obstacles to help Pakistan go from more than 300 polio cases in 2014 to less only 5 cases in just three years.

Other blogs include:

Photo Essays

Photo Essay

Polio Campaigns in Africa: In 2016 there were only 4 cases of wild poliovirus in sub-Saharan Africa, all detected in Nigeria, the last polio-endemic country in Africa. In an effort to reach and protect children unreached by routine immunization services, oral polio immunization campaigns are being conducted in several African countries, with support from technical staff from CDC’s Global Immunization Division (GID)/Polio Eradication Branch/Africa team. Also available in French!

Photo Essay

At Work For Immunization: When planning for routine immunizations, mass vaccination campaigns in response to outbreaks, or supplemental immunization activities, it is important to get as many people involved as possible to reach every child. Female health workers often join immunization activities because they know that vaccines work to save lives.

Latest GID Research

The Journal of Infectious Diseases released a special supplement that highlighted polio eradication efforts featuring several articles from CDC staff members and other Global Polio Eradication Initiative partners.

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) released an article focused on polio eradication activities, progress, and challenges in Afghanistan during January 2016–June 2017 and the challenges that remain, such as Afghanistan’s need to continue collaborating with Pakistan to track and vaccinate groups of high-risk mobile populations and strengthen efforts to reach children in security-compromised areas.

The Pan African Medical Journal features an article that provides an overview of the history, current status, and future of the Stop Transmission of Polio data management (STOP DM) deployment created to provide capacity development in the area of data management for immunization and surveillance data for polio endemic and at-risk countries and documents how it has played a valuable role in improving the quality and use of data for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and increasingly supported other immunization program data needs, with a specific focus on the African continent.

Vaccine published an a study evaluating the outcomes of the administration of 1/5th dose of Inactivated poliovirus vaccine intradermally (fIPV) using intradermal devices rather than the traditional BCG needle and syringe both in a health facility and during one-day door-to-door campaign, which determined fIPV offers a dose-saving alternative to full-dose IPV.

  • Page last reviewed: October 25, 2017
  • Page last updated: October 25, 2017
  • Content source:

    Global Health
    Notice: Linking to a non-federal site does not constitute an endorsement by HHS, CDC or any of its employees of the sponsors or the information and products presented on the site.