The use of mobile phones in polio eradication


The Global Polio Eradication Initiative, established in 1988, has led to the immunization of 2.5 billion children against the disease. In 2014, only 359 cases of poliomyelitis (polio) were reported worldwide, which is a fraction of the estimated 350 000 children in 125 countries who were paralyzed annually by the poliovirus before 1988. There are only two remaining countries where polio is still endemic – Afghanistan and Pakistan, while circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus is still causing outbreaks in others, such as Guinea, Madagascar and Ukraine. Spread of the poliovirus from the two remaining endemic countries to Iraq, Israel, the Syrian Arab Republic and other vulnerable countries is a continuing threat. Until polio transmission in endemic countries is interrupted, the whole world remains at risk.