Ethiopia starts commemorating World Polio Day in Afar

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(Photo: Anteneh Aklilu)

As Ethiopia commemorated the 2022 World Polio Day (WPD) in Semera, Afar on Saturday November 5, it was stated that to highlight progress made by the Ministry of Health (MoH) and partners towards polio eradication; the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and ROTARY will reaffirm the commitment to continue delivering on their promise until polio is eliminated in Ethiopia.
WPD commemorations for this year kicked off globally on 24th October 2022, with the theme “World Polio Day 2022 and Beyond: A healthier future for mothers and Children.”
On the day, Fikadu Yadeta, Advisor at MoH, said that with regards to eradicating the virus, various successes have been attained in the efforts carried out in the past year. In addition, the ministry’s health advisor underlined that stiff attention is still required as cases are being registered.
Manmade and natural disasters which have occurred in the past few years were stated as a challenge in covering all areas for Polio and other vaccinations for children.
Global partners and health workers have worked tirelessly for many years to bring polio cases down by 100 per cent worldwide. Africa has also made tremendous progress towards the eradication of the wild poliovirus (WPV), and in 2020, the WHO Africa Region was certified as wild polio-free, thanks to countries’ sustained commitment and coordination of partners.
However, the job is not done yet as non-wild polio variant continues to circulate in under-immunized communities threatening a few countries in Africa and beyond.
Countries must commit to vaccinating every child and strengthening disease surveillance to end any form of polio, anywhere in the world, as it is a threat to children everywhere.
Last month, donors pledged about US$ 2.6 billion at the World Health Summit that will help the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) to continue its critical role in fighting poliomyelitis to strengthen health systems around the world to end polio.
The remarkable progress in Ethiopia would not have been possible without the leadership of the Ethiopian Ministry of Health, the commitment of frontline workers, and the generous support of polio partners such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, ROTARY, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), USAID, WHO, UNICEF, Consortium of Christian Relief and Development Associations (CCRDA/CORE Group) and other Global Polio Eradication Initiative partners.