LETTER: Let’s rid the world of polio

Published on March 17, 2017

Twenty-five years ago, a diagnosis of the highly infectious disease of polio would have struck fear into the hearts of any Canadian parent with young children.

Fortunately, a vaccine was developed that eradicated the dread disease in North America and Canada was declared polio-free in 1994.

Flash forward to today and polio is nearly eradicated from the world, but not quite. It is still endemic in Pakistan and Afghanistan and as recently as 2015, polio resurfaced in Nigeria, a country that had been declared polio-free just a year or two before. And as long as polio exists anywhere, it threatens children everywhere.

We are closer than ever to ridding the world of this disease. It has been estimated that US$1.5 billion would do it. Efforts could then turn to other ways to improve the lives of the world’s poorest. The war against polio would have been won.  

Canada’s share of that amount is $150 million. This commitment would help in the final push to rid the world of the scourge of polio. It would be money well spent and a legacy well earned. You can google the parliamentary online e-petition to sign and share. Then call your MP and tell them that you support a polio-free world.

Paulie Duhaime