The Broader Benefits of Polio Eradication Efforts in Africa

A new short film shows why it is so important to plan for how the polio infrastructure can be used to meet broader health needs, both now and in the future.

The film from the World Health Organization shows how community participation, the ability to reach the most remote communities, and government leadership are crucial aspects from the polio infrastructure that can be used to strengthen other health programmes.
WHO/R.Youngblood.
The film from the World Health Organization shows how community participation, the ability to reach the most remote communities, and government leadership are crucial aspects from the polio infrastructure that can be used to strengthen other health programmes.

A new short video was shown at the Ministerial Conference on Immunization in Africa in February to demonstrate the impact that the polio infrastructure can have on not only keeping the continent polio-free, but also addressing other health needs across the continent. Filmed in Nigeria and Ethiopia, the video shows how the polio programme has helped strengthen countries’ ability to reach more children with life-saving vaccines and other health services, through stronger cold chains, trained health workers, engaged communities and country leadership. You can watch the video here.

In surpassing one year without wild polio, Africa has achieved a major public health milestone. This is an incredible achievement for countries such as Nigeria and Ethiopia, which have been battling the virus to protect children. Were the virus to return, the consequences would be devastating; so now, more than ever, is the time to ensure that the African continent is resilient against polio.

Ensuring that countries take steps to integrate this infrastructure into their ongoing public health programmes was a key part of discussions at the Ministerial Conference on Immunization, and was included in the Addis Ababa Declaration on Immunization signed by ministers at the conclusion of the two-day meeting.

Watch the film here:


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