Final effort needed to defeat polio.
Many Canadians are old enough to remember the horror of polio. In the1950s and ’60s, polio killed thousands of children and left countless others living in iron lungs or with life-long paralysis. With the development of effective vaccines, we thought we had seen the end of this terrible disease. We were wrong.
The World Health Organization recently predicted a global polio emergency in Pakistan within three months. In 2011, 73 new cases were reported there, nearly equal to all the cases in the previous five years. Polio is now 99 per cent eradicated globally, but without immediate action, the number of children paralyzed each year is expected rise to 200,000 in a decade. We are failing at the very moment of our victory over this terrible crippler of children.