Saturday 24 October marked World Polio Day 2015. This year, the world is in a stronger position than ever to end polio, putting us on the verge of eradicating a human disease for only the second time in history. India and South-East Asia have been declared polio-free, outbreaks in the Middle East and Horn of Africa appear to have ended, and Nigeria has stopped transmission of wild polio. All have been removed from the list of endemic countries. Now, only two countries in the world have recorded wild polio cases in 2015: Pakistan and Afghanistan.
However if we stop our work now, all the progress we have made will be undone. That is why, this month, we are asking you to meet your MP and gain their support for the eradication of polio by becoming a ‘Polio Champion’. We will need them to encourage the Department for International Developments (DFID) continued work with the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) and ask them to provide the additional resources needed to end polio for good. The UK can be a real leader in the final eradication of polio. This will be a significant part of achieving the new Global Goals, and leaving a legacy of which the UK government can be justly proud.