While the Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s new strategy is being finalized, India is in the midst of its own health campaign that uses the polio eradication playbook to take on a new health challenge, a neglected tropical disease called lymphatic filariasis.
In 2017, there was a total of 22 polio cases in the world. To put that in perspective, in 1988, there were 350,000 cases of polio, with approximately 22 people (mostly children) becoming paralyzed every half hour. Today's 99 percent reduction of cases should be cause for celebration. The Optimist's Ryan Bell sat down with Jay Wenger, director of the polio program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to fact-check the most persistent myths about the effort to eradicate polio.