The global pandemic announced in 2020  took the world by storm. Our world came to know loss due to the devastation caused by the COVID-19 infection. But even in difficult times such as these, the collaborative human spirit continues to persevere to achieve progress, prosperity and peace.
A way in which progress was achieved in the year 2020, was the announcement that the African continent was declared polio free by the Africa Regional Certification Commission , which is an independent body set up by the World Health Organization (WHO) to identify when polio eradication is achieved in Africa . This was a great achievement for all those involved in the endeavour.
Polio (poliomyelitis) is a disease caused by the poliovirus that can have debilitating and life-threatening effects. Its symptoms range from mild to severe. Its ability to infect the brain and spinal cord can leave its sufferers paralysed . Polio is mostly seen in children under five. There is no cure but vaccinations give children protection against the virus for life.
Poliovirus is highly contagious  and is usually transmitted through the consumption of contaminated water . Two out of three strains have been eradicated worldwide and now the third strain is no longer present in 47 out of 54 African countries with 95% of the African population having been vaccinated.
However, there is a new strain of polio present on the African continent named “vaccine -derived polio” of which there are only 177 cases known at the present moment .
Africa is the second most populated continent in the world with a population of approximately 1.3 billion people . This eradication of wild polio is an amazing achievement in global health and it shows how being tenacious in reaching a goal can bring about the accomplishment of that goal, which gives hope that the world can become a healthier place by taking one step at a time.
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