Polio is a highly contagious and dangerous disease, caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. Such is the danger level of this disease that 1 in 200 infected people face the risk of permanent paralysis, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Therefore, the eradication of polio was considered important on a global scale. This is why World Polio Day is an important occasion, observed to raise awareness for the polio vaccination and the eradication of polio.
The establishment of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) happened in 1988, launched by the Rotary International and the WHO, when there were nearly 3,50,000 cases of polio across the world. As of date, several regions like the Americas, Europe, Southeast Asia, and Western Pacific have been declared polio-free. However, countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan still witness rare occurrences of this disease. World Polio Day, therefore, is the perfect occasion to spread awareness about the dangers of this disease, and the immense need to vaccinate babies as per schedule, so as to completely eradicate the virus.