World Polio Day Essay Speech Quotes & Status History Story Celebration Date & Ideas
World Polio Day Essay
Polio is arguably one of the worst diseases that crippled many children worldwide. At its height it used to infect more than 100 children per week. Today that number has reduced to less than 100 cases per year, thanks to active participation of various entities in Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI). But fight against this disease is yet to be finished, and that’s why we celebrate World Polio Day every year on October 24 (or October 23, if 24 ends up in the weekend).
Origin Of World Polio Day
World Polio Day was established by Rotary International and its other GPEI partners on October 24, 2012. The event not only marked a major milestone in the journey of polio-free world but also became a platform to strengthen the fight against this disease and eradicate it completely.
History of World Polio Day
To learn about the history of Wold Polio Day first of all one needs to learn a bit about the history of Polio itself. The severity of this disease was at its peak in 1988, when it was infecting more than 350,000 children annually across 125 different countries. Something was needed to be done, and it had to be done in a big manner to leave a global impact.
So governments across the globe decided to join hands, which gave birth to Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI). Along with governments World Health organization (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), US Centers for Disease Control (US CDC) and Rotary International also joined the initiative to declare a global war against polio.
That was in 1988. A lot has changed since then as Polio has now been eradicated from most part of the world. Given below are some major statistics about this highly successful public-private partnership to eradicate a deadly disease:
|Name of Initiative||Global Polio Eradication Initiative|
|Partner Entities||UNICEF, WHO, Rotary International, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and governments|
|Number of volunteers||20 million|
|Children immunized||2.5 billion|
The celebration of World Polio Day began a few years ago to celebrate an important milestone. Keep reading to figure out why.
Story behind World Polio Day
GPEI partners first celebrated World Polio Day on October 24, 2012 to mark a major milestone in the journey of Polio eradication: India’s entry in Polio-free club. The country was removed from WHO’s list of countries where poliovirus was in active transmission. So Rotary International and its other GPEI partners decided to celebrate the moment by establishing an international event around it. The day selected for the event was October 24, which marks the birthday of Dr. Jonas Salk, a scientist who led the team that developed world’s first polio vaccine. Since then this event is being celebrated worldwide on same day.
|Name||World Polio Day|
|Origin||UNICEF and GPEI Partners|
|First Celebration Date||October 24, 2012|
|Celebration Type||International Event|
|Kind of||Social Issue|
|World Polio Day Celebration Dates||October 24, 2016|
|October 24, 2017|
|October 24, 2018|
|October 24, 2019|
|October 23, 2020|
How it is celebrated?
- Marathons and Rallies: Many organizations or city administrations organize WPD Marathons or rallies on WPD to spread awareness about the event and polio. And thanks to the rise of social media, inviting people to these marathons has become a lot easier today.
- Events and Festivals: In some places Rotary and GPEI partners also organize one-day festivals to spread awareness about polio on WPD. Some of those festivals also include a wide range of cultural programs and meals.
- Exhibitions: Some Rotary volunteers also set up booths in various exhibitions to distribute pamphlets and other materials related to polio on this day. Moreover, Rotary and other GPEI partners also organize special exhibitions on this day aimed at polio eradication.
New Celebration Ideas
- Becoming a volunteer: You can volunteer for the cause on this day either by spreading awareness through any exhibition or by vaccinating kids younger than 5 years in your area. Fret not – giving oral vaccines is as easy as dropping 4 drops in the mouths of kids.
- Spreading awareness through social media: You can also spread awareness about the cause through your social media accounts. Sample posts and sharing material can be found easily from endpolio.org website.
Purpose of Celebration
Currently only two countries are remaining where poliovirus is still in active transmission: Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. That means we’re only three steps away from a polio-free world. At such a crucial stage it only makes sense to step up our efforts towards attaining our goal. So this event serves as a reminder to keep pushing harder and harder in that fight until our goal is attained.
Impact on society of World Polio Day
The event also sends out a message to the society that even the biggest challenges can be tackled easily by collaboration. In this area of increasing competition in every area of life, GPEI and its partners have set a perfect example of collaboration before the world.
Response of Society
While backward societies in many non-developed or developing countries used to ignore the importance of this polio vaccine earlier, they’ve realized their fatal mistake and now they take part in the initiative. They take part in World Polio Day by spreading awareness about it in many ways. Some of them also volunteer for the cause on this day by vaccinating other kids.
Pros and Cons
|Acts as single largest campaign to spread awareness about polio||It’s critical to spread awareness in locations where poliovirus is still present, but finding such locations is still a major challenge|
|Encourages continuous surveillance of locations to spot poloiovirus||The continuous surveillance to detect poliovirus is a costly gamble|
|Increases awareness about the symptoms of polio||90% of poliovirus cases show no symptoms; which adds to the complication of finding polio|
|Continuous vaccination is essential to maintain the success achieved in eradicating polio, and this campaign highlights that importance||Local forces in under-developed regions of societies continue to create hurdles in the path of eradicating polio|
|Educates people about safety of polio vaccines||There’ve been some rare cases of vaccine-induced polio; a situation in which vaccine itself becomes the cause of polio|
|Reminds people that it’s easy and safe to vaccinate their kids with Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV)||OPV has been known to be largely effective against Type-2 poliovirus only; for remaining 2 types of viruses it’s not too effective|
|The event dramatically increases the number of volunteers who can vaccinate kids with OPV||Despite this huge social exercise it’s a well-known fact that success of this program depends on the will of governments, which doesn’t come easily|
|Pulls people even from distant parts of cities to work together for a cause||Causes traffic jams in cities that lack wide roads to handle the crowd of marathons and traffic at the same time|
The fight against Polio has already been won by 99.9%, but the 0.1% is still remaining. Therefore, this is no time to take our chips down. Smallpox is the only disease ever eradicated, but polio can become a second one. So we should do our part in attaining that goal. World Polio Day also provides an opportunity to do so because spreading awareness becomes easier around that time. You should use the opportunity either by voluntarily vaccinating children or by sharing information about the day and disease. It seldom takes more than a few hours.
Speech On World Polio Day
The global war against Polio was declared in 1988 by some of the world’s largest entities. 28 years have passed since then, and we’ve been largely successful in our war as Polio has now been eradicated from all big countries around the globe. From 100 cases per week we’ve come to less than 100 cases per year. These’re huge milestones that remind us that anything can be achieved with collaboration and teamwork.
But these successes haven’t come easy – eradicating polio has remained a costly affair as its detection isn’t easy. More than 90% cases of poliovirus infection don’t show any symptoms. As a result, detecting polio remains a tough challenge that requires significant investment of money, time and brains. So even after a steep decline of 99.9% in the number of cases it only makes sense to keep working if we’ve to prevent it from coming back. Plus, the war isn’t finished yet. Three countries are still remaining with wild cases of poliovirus, namely Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. In order to make world polio-free it’s important to work hard towards the cause in these countries while maintaining the success achieved in other countries at the same time.
World Polio Day provides a time to do all these things. It aims to spread awareness about the disease among public and also marks a time when we can look back at what we’ve achieved. So we should take part in this historic event every year and contribute whatever we can towards the cause. If we could eradicate it from all the big countries, we can do so from remaining three as well. We just need to continue working towards it and one day we’ll celebrate World Polio Day in a completely polio-free world.
Quotes & Status On World Polio Day
There’s only one disease that was eradicated worldwide, and it’s called Smallpox. We’re on the verge of eradicating a second one, called Polio.
The number of polio cases worldwide has been decreased by 99.9% – the only thing remaining is that 0.1%.
From 100 cases per week to less than 100 cases per year, in our fight with Polio we’ve come a long way. Now we need to maintain it that way.
You’ve two choices to save your child from Polio – first is to pray, second is to vaccinate. Try both.
The need to stop polio now is more than it has ever been.
90% cases of polio exist in security-vulnerable areas.
Don’t allow a disease to rob the childhood of your kids – vaccinate them for Polio.
Once you eradicate something, you don’t need to spend money on it anymore. Unfortunately, it’s not true for Polio. You need to maintain your results even after eradicating it completely.