Polio or Poliomyelitis is a communicable disease caused by a virus that lives in throat and intestinal tract. Poliovirus attacks the nervous system and in some cases can paralyze the victim instantly. It spreads rapidly especially in those communities that are living in very poor hygienic and sanitation conditions. People of all ages can get infected by the Polio; however children under five years of age are the most likely to be infected by the virus. Though polio is not curable, it can be prevented especially through childhood vaccination.
In 1988, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), the single largest public health project ever undertaken by the global community. This initiative was adopted by the World Health Assembly with an aim to mobilize global efforts to end polio by 2000. GPEI provides a platform for the governments as well as the multilateral health/development agencies like the WHO, Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and UNICEF to spearhead their efforts to eradicate the polio by increasing immunization coverage across the world. Since 1988, about US$ 9 billion has been invested in this initiative. These efforts paid off and globally incidence of polio has declined by over 99%. Today, only four countries, namely Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and Nigeria are classified as polio endemic compared to 125 in 1988.
This report examines the current state of prevalence of polio both at world and OIC levels. It also highlights the major issues and challenges facing the endemic and importation countries and the role of multilateral cooperation to eradicate polio, and provides a brief discussion on the major initiatives taken by the OIC and the measures that should be taken both at national and intra-OIC cooperation level to speed up the eradication of polio in member countries.
Online Electronic Version
The State of Polio in OIC Member Countries - “Enhancing Multilateral Cooperation to Eradicate Polio” (English)