Nigeria on track to be certified polio-free

Nigeria has gone three years without a case of polio, the country’s health officials announced in August 2019. If eradication efforts continue to be successful over the coming months, the country may soon be declared polio-free by the World Health Organization. Afghanistan and Pakistan are the only other countries where polio remains a threat.

Part of the country’s success is attributed to its network of 20,000 female volunteer community mobilizers, who bring the oral form of the vaccine door to door. They also connect parents to other health services and listen to their needs.

“No one wants a child to have polio—it’s terrible. But there’s a million things that are terrible,” Gillian SteelFisher, senior research scientist at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told Foreign Policy in an August 21 article. “So we have to build systems that are real and trustworthy, responsive and connected—and that is really hard.”

Read Foreign Policy article: Nigeria Just Won a Complex Victory Over Polio