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Opinion and Editorial

KT edit: Crippling polio

Filed on August 27, 2020

Africa officially becoming polio-free is a milestone achievement and points at the effectiveness of global partnerships in combating issues that plague lives across the planet. If only we reach the same goal with Covid-19 sooner or later. 

In the case of polio, three strains of wild poliovirus cannot survive for a long period outside of the human body. A few drops of the vaccine, which has been in circulation for more than half a century, provides children with the immunity against the virus that causes paralysis and life-long health complications. Yet, the world has been struggling to get rid of the disease. Afghanistan and Pakistan remain the last remnants in this drive to eradicate the dreaded disease.

The global effort to wipe out polio is the largest public-private partnership spanning governments, NGOs, private firms and volunteers globally, including the UAE. In Africa, the UAE's efforts and aid have helped immunise 25 million children in Somalia, Sudan, and Ethiopia. The emirates is also playing a seminal role in Pakistan. The world can be freed of the threat of polio with everyone's commitment - right from families to health workers and political leaders to the international community. And in this drive we can build public health systems and infrastructure that will go a long way in ensuring the well-being of all. Public health infrastructure built in Africa, for instance, to eradicate polio has been critical to the governments in fighting Ebola and are now playing a seminal role against Covid-19. Concerted efforts pay off well. Shouldn't we have global team for Covid, too?


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