Eradication of polio near, thanks to Canadian support

Global initiative playing a major role in reducing incidence of once-rampant disease

Volunteers such as these B.C. Rotary Club members have helped reduce the incidence of polio worldwide, as has Canada’s contributions to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Black Press file photo

I recently read a statistic on polio that made my heart beat a little faster: in 1998, 40 children per hour worldwide were being infected by polio.

By 2016, that number was reduced to 40 children per year. Is that not astonishing? It would seem that it is within our grasp to eradicate this incurable, but preventable disease. This has only happened once before when in 1980, smallpox was declared eradicated.

The success behind the reduction in polio infections is due in large part to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), which was established 30 years ago. I am proud to know that Canada has pledged $100 million to the GPEI, as this is a worthwhile investment. Since its establishment, it has generated net benefits of $27 billion US from reduced health care costs. Complete eradication would result in additional net benefits to the globe of $19 to 25 billion US over the next 20 years.

This is a step in the right direction for Canada. Not sure that ‘we’re back,’ but perhaps we are on our way.

Connie Lebeau

Victoria

Just Posted

Victoria landmarks to glow red in honour of World Tuberculosis Day

1,600 new cases of active TB reported in Canada every year

Victoria bowler strikes gold at World Special Olympics Games

Hours of training at Langford Lanes paved the way to gold for Patrick Reid

Colwood discusses parcel tax to help pay for sewer repair and replacement

Report submitted to committee recommends parcel tax for all residents

UPDATE: Missing 12-year-old girl found

Victora police say missing youth has been found and is safe

Victoria hosts ‘Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave’

The hockey cave was recently featured on a Netflix special

Fire crews battle large blaze at Courtenay hostel

Courtenay Fire Chief Don Bardonnex said nobody was injured

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

Wildlife activists slam B.C. business, clubs for ‘wolf-whacking’ contests

Chilcotin Guns, Creston Valley Rod and Gun Club and West Kootenay Outdoorsmen Club under fire

Most Read