Polio Eradication: Advances, Threats, and the Role of Mobile

Polio Eradication Progress

In 2017 so far, a total of five cases of wild polio have been reported worldwide: 3 in Afghanistan and 2 in Pakistan. This represents an incredible decrease of 99% since 1988, when the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (a public-private partnership composed of national governments with support from the World Health Organization, Rotary InternationalCDC, UNICEF, and the Gates Foundation) began its efforts to eradicate the disease worldwide – a time when polio paralysed more than 1000 children worldwide every single day.

Child with leg deformity from polio (Photo: CDC)

Child with leg deformity from polio

This represents an enormous triumph for the science of vaccination, and for the determination of the global community to eliminate this disease from the planet, as smallpox was before, almost 40 years ago. National governments, non-profits, the Red Cross movement, scientists, and funders have all played a role in this progress.

Mobile Plays a Role

We’re incredibly proud of having played a role in recent advances against this terrible disease, as for more than five years WHO has relied on Magpi for mobile data collection and reporting for a wide variety of monitoring and assessment and management activities around polio vaccination – some of which are detailed in a paper published last year by Nigeria WHO staff: “Implementation of a Systematic Accountability Framework in 2014 to Improve the Performance of the Nigerian Polio Program”(download below).

Some other papers detailing the role of Magpi in polio eradication (click title to read):


Polio virus

Threats Looming: You Can Help

Unfortunately, it’s now possible that the eradication effort may suffer from plans by the Trump administration to reduce international health funding. It’s imperative, we believe, that the entire global community come together to fight this threat to what should be one of the greatest public health – or, indeed, human – triumphs in history.  We hope our Magpi users and readers will communicate the importance of this effort to their government representatives, and if it is at all possible, we support donations to Rotary International to support polio eradication efforts (click image below to donate now).

End Polio Now (Photo: Rotary International)


Study: Improving Performance of Polio Programs

Systematic accountability frameworks are central to improving program performance through close monitoring of selected activities. The World Health Organization monitored the Nigeria polio program using Magpi, and used the resulting real-time data to drive positive changes in staff and outcomes.

Download the Study