World Polio Day

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, donor and influencer efforts to mark World Polio Day, you will find a social media toolkit below that provides suggested language, graphics, animations and shareable partner 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

In the last 30 years, the world has made incredible strides toward the goal of achieving a polio-free future.

  • Since 1988, wild polio cases have been reduced by over 99% – down to a historic low of just 22 cases in 2017.
  • Wild polio also now exists in the smallest geographic area ever. So far in 2018, just 19 cases have occurred in two countries – Pakistan and Afghanistan.
  • However, transmission has continued into 2018 and the program faces key challenges –including outbreaks of vaccine-derived poliovirus. It’s important that we remain focused and committed to stopping polio wherever it persists.

The progress that we have made is thanks to the heroic efforts of country governments, health workers, partners and donors who are working to reach every child and stop the virus for good.

  • There are many faces of the polio program – from parents who demand the vaccine, to donors who commit the funds necessary to finance these critical activities – who play a key role in achieving the incredible progress made to date.
  • These extraordinary efforts have paved the way for not only polio vaccines, but also other critical health services to reach children in some of the most remote areas of the world.
  • Planning has also begun to transfer the infrastructure and knowledge of the program to support broader health systems once polio is eradicated.

To end polio for good, we must take bold steps in this challenging last mile of eradication.

  • As long as polio exists anywhere, it is a threat to children everywhere. Continued innovation and program improvements to reach kids everywhere and detect and stop outbreaks, along with increased political and financial commitment, are necessary to finish the job.
  • This worldwide effort will bring about the eradication of the second human disease in history, and most importantly, ensure that no parent and child would have to fear the paralysis the virus causes ever again.

World Polio Day 2018 Digital Campaigns

The toolkit is organized around daily themes. Themes include:

  • Monday (October 22): Then and Now
    • Focus: Demonstrating the progress the program has made toward a healthier, polio-free world over the last 30 years.
    • Potential content:
      • Digital photo essay on the GPEI history project showcasing artifacts from the past thirty years of polio eradication efforts.
      • GIF showing global progress against polio to date and underscoring how quickly the virus would spread again if eradication activities ceased (e.g., a world map filling in with color to symbolize polio’s elimination from country after country, only to suddenly reverse).


  • Tuesday (October 23): In Their Shoes
  • Focus: Spotlighting on-the-ground heroes – such as vaccinators and social mobilizers – who have gotten us where we are today and work to protect children around the world.
  • Potential content:
    • Similarly to the successful World Immunization Week Instagram “takeover,” UNICEF and other partners could post selfies from health workers during vaccination campaigns to give insight into their daily work.
    • Video clipsExternal from “Our World United to End Polio” in the Kosi River Basin in India could challenge viewers to imagine walking in a polio vaccinator’s shoes.
  • GIF outlining the “6 degrees of separation” between a child and a polio vaccine could highlight how many people have to “touch” a vaccine before it reaches a child (e.g., scientists, social mobilizers, campaign coordinators, vaccinators, etc).


  • Wednesday (October 24): Bold Steps to End Polio
    • Focus: Highlighting ongoing efforts to overcome program challenges and end polio for good, including through showcasing innovative strategies to reach kids everywhere and underscoring the need for continued political and financial commitment. The day could also be used to spotlight how the polio program has contributed to other health priorities and will continue to do so after eradication.
    • Potential content:
      • Video clips from “Our World United to End Polio” highlighting programmatic innovations, including reaching nomadic communitiesExternal in Chad; the “switchExternal” in the Philippines; or the CDC global lab network identifying every case of polio.
      • GIF spotlighting quotes from donor country leaders expressing commitment to polio eradication, as well as a still frame listing all major donor countries with a thank you message.
      • Digital content depicting the positive “ripple effect” of the polio program on future generations, highlighting some of the broader benefits associated with polio infrastructure (e.g., nutrition supplements, routine immunization, birth registration).

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 included below. Partner and donor Twitter handles can be found in the appendix below.

Sample Twitter Language

Monday (October 22): Then and Now

  • Before the formation of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, #polio paralyzed over 1,000 children worldwide daily. We’ve made great strides with having the fewest cases of polio in history in 2018. Let’s keep the momentum going! #WorldPolioDay
  • Decades ago, there were three types of wild-poliovirus (WPV). WPV type3 was last reported November 2012 and type2 was declared eradicated in 2015. Let’s push forward to #endpolio there’s only one remaining type, learn more here: #WorldPolioDay

Tuesday (October 23): In Their Shoes

  • Today, we recognize the men and women behind #polio eradication for the lengths they take, and their bravery amongst trials in an effort to save lives. #WorldPolioDay
  • Frontline polio workers are commitment to reaching every child, even when confronted with the challenge of parents’ concern or hesitation accept vaccine. #everylastchild
    • #DidYouKnow that purple pinkies are a sign that children in a #polio immunization campaign area have received their vaccine? #WorldPolioDay [“Immunize Children” GIF/MP4 video]
    • In a #polio campaign continuous progress is strived for daily, hurdles are often unexpected yet still we persevere and take bold steps forward to reach #everylastchild #WorldPolioDay
      [“Vaccination Teams” GIF/MP4 video]

Sample Facebook Language

Monday (October 22): Then and Now

  • Imagine where the world would be if the Global Polio Eradication Initiative was never formed 30 years ago – over 350,000 kids being afflicted with polio a year, missing out on the simple joys of childhood like learning how to ride a bike… That was the reality then–now there are only a small number of cases remaining, let’s make it zero! #EndPolio

Tuesday (October 23): In Their Shoes

  • Meet Oladayo Biya, an Epidemiologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the Nigeria Team in the Polio Branch. When asked about his work on #polio he states, “What is keeping me going is the fact that we’ve made a huge reduction in polio cases; in Nigeria there has been no detection of wild poliovirus in over two years. I believe that the efforts we frontline officers have made to improve polio vaccine and interrupt transmission is yielding great results, and very soon we will achieve our goal of eradicating polio globally”. #WorldPolioDay
  • Elias Durry, of CDC states his admiration of the frontline workers of polio, “There is no other public health initiative that has ever reached the amount of children that we’ve reached. These children were never accounted for before because people never knew they existed. In addition, frontline workers are frequently working in challenging and insecure areas to reach every child; for that—they deserve the highest humanitarian honor”. #WorldPolioDay

Wednesday (October 24): Bold Steps to End Polio

  • Have you ever wondered what polio workers do within an immunization campaign? During a polio campaign, satellite imagining is used to map out areas and locate people on the move and detect homes and discover best routes to take. These are just a few of the bold steps to #reacheverylastchild #WorldPolioDay [“Vaccination Teams” GIF/MP4 video]

Sharegraphics Update w/ Latest

All graphics are available for download online on the CGH Social Media Cards page.

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 @CDCgov and @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: November 29, 2018
Content source: Global Health