A case of Polio confirmed in Venezuela for the first time in 30 years would be a tragedy and another example of why global eradication of Polio is proving so hard to achieve. This case shows nearly three decades after Polio was declared eradicated in 1989, it has the power to return. Poor vaccination coverage is all Polio needs to re-assert itself and in Delta Amacuro, vaccine coverage only reached 67 percent.
A combination of political and economic crisis led to poor vaccine cover in Venezuela. It is a stark reminder we cannot afford to be complacent when it comes to Polio or take for granted the importance of continuing vaccination for decades after global Polio eradication is finally declared. I hope to see this milestone achieved in 2019 as we mark 80 years of British Polio, but this will be no easy task and vigilance will be required long after the last reported case.
The British Polio Fellowship continues to campaign for some 120,000 people in the UK living with Post Polio Syndrome (PPS), and we urge continued support for Rotary and the One Last Push campaign, working to see the terrible disease that is Polio vanquished once and for all. If you need our support or advice, call us on 0800 043 1935 or visit www.britishpolio.org.uk
National Chairman, The British Polio Fellowship