This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Africa declared free from wild polio

Written by: | Published:

Polio Vax Since 1996, billions of doses of the vaccine have been delivered across the continent and 95% of Africa’s population have been immunised

Four years after its last recorded outbreak, the continent of Africa has been declared free of wild polio by the independent Africa Regional Certification Commission. The announcement came after a year of evaluating data from all 47 countries on the continent, and marks the eradication of a disease that only 25 years used to cripple tens of thousands of children across the continent. It was hailed by World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as ‘one of the greatest achievements in public health history’, which wouldleave behind a legacy in how to tackle diseases and reach the poorest and most marginalised communities with lifesaving services’.

Polio is a virus spread by contaminated water, and usually affects children under five, often leading to irreversible paralysis. It can be fatal if respiratory muscles are affected. There is no cure, but the polio vaccine will provide protection for life.

The success is the culmination of a strategy launched by the late South African leader Nelson Mandela in 1996 called, Kick Polio out of Africa. Since then, billions of doses of the vaccine have been delivered across the continent and 95% of Africa’s population have been immunised. This latest success leaves Afghanistan and Pakistan as the last two countries in the world where wild polio has yet to be eradicated.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.



Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code

Most read articles from Practice Nursing Journal

Practice Nursing Journal latest issue and most read articles.

Click here to read a selection of free to access articles from Practice Nursing Journal


Sign up to the newsletter


Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.


Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.


Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team


Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.