World Polio Day 2019

Social Media Toolkit


World Polio Day provides an important moment to recognize the historic opportunity the world has to end polio and emphasize the need for continued commitment to achieve eradication.

To support, guide and unify partner efforts to mark World Polio Day, please explore our  social media toolkit that provides suggested language, graphics, animations and shareable content for social media platforms.

Partners can support this effort through the following activities:

  • Communicate shared messages on global progress toward polio eradication and the urgency of staying committed to end polio forever
  • Disseminate content and participate in World Polio Day digital campaigns using your online channels (e.g., social media, blogs, listservs/newsletters)
  • Share this toolkit with other relevant organizations and/or individuals and encourage their support

Top-line Messages

Since 1988, the world has made incredible strides against polio – reducing wild polio cases by over 99% and wiping the wild virus from all but two countries (Pakistan and Afghanistan). In 2019, major milestones underscored the program’s ability to endure and adapt to challenges in the push to reach every last child.

  • The WHO PAHO Region celebrated its 25th wild polio-free anniversary – a major testament to the polio program’s effectiveness and capacity to strengthen health systems.
  • Nigeria marked three years without wild polio, opening the door for the certification of the WHO AFRO Region and affirming the success of the program’s response to the reemergence of polio in Nigeria in 2016.
  • On October 24, 2019, the certification of eradication of the type-three wild poliovirus (WPV3) signifies that the world has wiped out two (WPV2 and WPV3) of the three wild polio strains – leaving just one more (WPV1) to go.
  • These achievements have been accomplished and sustained thanks to the thousands of health workers, innovators and donors who help the polio program reach over 450 million children across 70 countries with polio vaccines each year.

Despite incredible historical progress, today the polio program faces critical challenges in the final mile toward eradication.

  • In 2019, cases of wild polio have increased relative to 2018, and outbreaks of vaccine-derived polio continue to spread globally.
  • The GPEI has overcome challenges like these before and is working closely with leadership in endemic and outbreak countries to implement new and proven strategies for strengthening immunization coverage and surveillance.

World Polio Day 2019 Digital Campaigns

Primary Hashtag: #EndPolio
Secondary Hashtags: #WorldPolioDay; #MakingHistory

The toolkit is organized around daily themes. Themes include:

Theme 1: Heroes of Polio Eradication (to share on 22-24 October)

Content will recognize the contributions of champions who have made progress against the virus possible, including:

  • Innovators
    • CDC will create social media language that highlights examples of scientists and other innovators who contribute to the polio program. Potential accompanying content could include the Our World United to End Polio Global Polio Laboratory Network story, Diagnostic methods

Theme 2: Stories of Progress: Past and Present (to share on 22-24 October)
Content will promote stories that illustrate the GPEI’s proven ability to course correct and advance progress toward eradication, including:

  • Nigeria’s three-year milestone & potential AFRO certification
    • Partners could share the AFRO certification graphic and other refreshed social media content originally created for Nigeria’s three-year wild polio-free milestone. (included in appendix)
  • PAHO’s 25th anniversary
    • CDC will create social media language to promote PAHO’s 25-year anniversary that emphasizes what it takes to keep regions polio-free and highlights the legacy of the polio program (e.g., how polio infrastructure supports other disease initiatives and strengthens health systems). Accompanying content could include the Our World United Against Polio video about the last case of polio in the Americas.

Additional Content: Celebrating the Eradication of WPV3 (to share after announcement on 24 October only)

Content will highlight news of the strain’s eradication and outputs from the WHO’s in-person event in Geneva:

  • Country offices can use WPV3 certification animation that visually represents the elimination of the next strain of the poliovirus (e.g., crossing out WPV2 then WPV3 as a ticker shows the year of each achievement and closing with a motivational message about finishing the job).
  • Share social media language highlighting the significance of WPV3 eradication and the need for sustained commitment, incorporating any content (e.g., pictures, quotes, articles) coming out of the in-person Geneva event or subsequent reporter Q&A session.

Sample Language, Graphics and Animations

The following sample social media messages for World Polio Day can be customized and used to share the digital campaigns above, as well as, the graphics and shareable content within the toolkit. Partner and donor Twitter handles can be found in the appendix below.

Sample Tweets

Tuesday (October 22):

  • Thanks to the efforts of health workers around the world, governments, and the partners of Global Polio Eradication Initiative, #polio cases have been reduced by 99.9% since 1988. #endpolio #WorldPolioDay
  • This #WorldPolioDay we’re celebrating @PAHOWHO’s incredible achievement of 25 years wild polio-free! 🎉 Learn more about how PAHO became the first WHO region to #EndPolio.

Wednesday (October 23):

  • Today we recognize the men and women behind #polio eradication for the great strides they’ve made and for their brave efforts to save lives. #WorldPolioDay

Thursday (October 24):

  • Decades ago, there were three types of wild-poliovirus (WPV). Today, we declare the eradication of WPV type3! CDC and partners are zeroing in on wild polio virus strain 1, the last viral strain that remains. #endpolio. #WorldPolioDay #MakingHistory [“Wildpolio virus type-3 Elimination” animation]

Sample Facebook Language

Tuesday (October 22):

  • While cases of polio have fallen over 99% worldwide since 1988, there are several obstacles to reaching every last child with the polio vaccine and ending  the disease in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Learn more about the global effort to eradicate polio:
  • Thank you to the health workers from all corners of the 🌍 for helping #EndPolio. Every year 450 million children in over 40 different countries are reached with the polio vaccine thanks to you! #WorldPolioDay [WPD19external icon health worker GIexternal iconFexternal icon] OR [health worker with child imageexternal icon]

Wednesday (October 23):

  • This year marks the 25th anniversary of an amazing public health accomplishment: in 1994, the Region of the Americas was the first one in the world to be certified polio-free. 🎉 Learn how @PAHOWHO became the first WHO region to #EndPolio.
  • The polio program has overcome challenges over the past 30 years including stopping  a wildpolio virus (WPV) outbreak in the Middle East in 2013-2014. The outbreak was successfully interrupted within 6 months due to an integrated plan that strengthened surveillance and synchronized mass vaccination campaigns by 8 national governments. Learn more in @CDCMMWR:
    #endpolio #worldpolioday

Thursday (October 24):

  • Today we celebrate the eradication of wildpolio virus type-3 (WPV3)! The eradication of WPV3 signifies a promising step toward a polio-free world. WPV3 is only the third infectious disease-causing pathogen to be eradicated in history, following smallpox and wild poliovirus type-2 (WPV2). Its eradication represents a benefit to future generations and underscores our potential to wipe out all forms of the poliovirus for good.
    [“Wildpolio virus type-3 Elimination” animation]
    #endpolio, #worldpolioday, #MakingHistory

Sharegraphics Update w/ Latest

Partner and Donor Twitter Handle Appendix

Organization Twitter Handle
CDC Global @CDCGlobal
Dr. Rebecca Martin, CDC @DrMartinCDC
Gates Foundation @GatesFoundation
Gates Foundation @GatesHealth
Global Citizen @GlblCtzn
Rotary International @Rotary
Rotary International @EndPolioNow
United Nations Foundation @unfoundation
United Nations Foundation @ShotAtLife
Organization Twitter Handle
Australia @dfat
Canada @CanadaDev
Germany @GermanyDiplo
Japan @Japan
Norway @NorwayMFA
United Kingdom @DFID_UK
United States @USAID
CDC Country Profiles
Organization Twitter Handle
Haiti @CDCHaiti
India @US_CDCIndia
Kenya @CDCKenya
Malawi @CDCMalawi
Namibia @CDCNamibia
Rwanda @CDCRwanda
South Africa @CDCSouthAfrica
Tanzania @CDCTanzania
Page last reviewed: October 23, 2019
Content source: Global Health