Last week, the World Health Organization announced a significant decline in polio cases this year. There have been 24 cases since the start of the year, a decline of more than 70 percent from the same period last year.
The finish line is in sight and we have a unique opportunity to wipe out this debilitating disease forever. Globally, polio has been reduced 99 percent and Africa has not seen a new case of polio in nearly a year.
However, as long as a single child remains infected, all children are at risk. The United Nations Foundation's Shot@Life campaign, engages Americans to advocate and raise funds to ensure vaccines reach children in developing countries.
While polio is a distant memory for many of us here in the U.S., it remains a threat for so many children living in developing countries.
As our nation reflects on the past 60 years of polio progress, and the more recent successes in Pakistan, I urge our elected officials to fully support polio eradication efforts until we reach the end.
Senators Durbin (D-IL) and Kirk (R-IL) introduced a resolution commemorating the discovery of the polio vaccine and supporting efforts to eradicate polio. This is an excellent platform for other Senators show their support for the global fight to end polio.