Posted on Sep 09, 2018
Every year, the polio programme delivers lifesaving health services to thousands of communities worldwide — each one with a distinct culture and set of customs.
From gender norms, to national holidays, this context-specific knowledge is essential to understanding how to most effectively find and protect every last child from the crippling effects of polio.
By collaborating with community leaders, hiring resident vaccinators and tailoring strategies to fit local customs, the polio programme is able to build critical trust within polio-vulnerable communities and reach more children with the lifesaving polio vaccine than ever before.
Circulating vaccine derived poliovirus cases 2018*

Democratic Republic of the Congo: 13 (8)
Nigeria: 8 (0)
Papua New Guinea: 6 (0)
Somalia: 5 (0)
Syria: 0 (39)

More information: Polio this week

*Data as of 28 August 2018, compared to the same point in 2017.
Remembering Kofi Annan
The passing of former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan earlier this month was a significant loss to the world of international diplomacy, peace, and efforts to deliver a more equitable life to millions worldwide. In this retrospective, we look back at his important contributions to global polio eradication efforts. 
On Pakistan’s Independence Day, vaccinators fight for a polio-free nation

This year, vaccination supervisor Mehwish Sheikh spent Pakistan’s Independence Day fighting for another kind of freedom for her country — freedom from polio. As millions gathered in celebration at the mausoleum of Pakistan’s founding father, Mehwish and her small team worked to immunize every child in the crowd — ultimately reaching over 11 000 children with the lifesaving vaccine. Meet Mehwish, and learn more about her team’s record-breaking effort to ensure every last child in Pakistan is forever free from the threat of polio.

Rooting out polio in Papua New Guinea

To swiftly close an outbreak, coordination is essential. In Papua New Guinea — where low immunization coverage has contributed to recent cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus — local officials have worked with the polio programme to rapidly mobilize over 2 900 health workers, vaccinators and volunteers with the goal of reaching thousands of children with polio vaccines. Check out this photo story for an on-the-ground look at this critical effort to keep Papua New Guinea’s children safe from the virus.