World Polio Day celebrates success!

Global eradication efforts have nearly wiped out polio

For immediate release: If you’re looking for an entirely positive news story, here it is – the global effort to eradicate polio is very close to succeeding. 

According to Rotary International, cases of polio worldwide have declined from 350,000 in 1985 to 22 in 2017. That represents a 99.9% reduction. Since 1988, the number of polio-endemic countries declined from over 125 to 3 in 2017. One hundred and forty-five countries, territories, and areas have been certified polio-free by independent commissions. That means 90% of the world’s population now lives in places that are polio-free.

These statistics represent an enormous success for the global eradication effort.

“March of Dimes Canada started as a grass-roots fundraising effort to support polio research,” says Allison Boughner, National Manager of Alternative Communication Services and Community Services Eastern Canada for March of Dimes Canada. “So we’re thrilled to see these numbers. Polio can be a devastating disease, but it’s also preventable.”

Today, March of Dimes Canada is supporting polio survivors, and people living with post-polio syndrome. 

“As survivors age, some of them experience problems related to their polio in addition to the typical challenges of getting older,” Boughner continues. “It can be a life-long journey, and it’s not always well-understood by the medical community. That’s why support and information is so important.”

Both are available to polio survivors, caregivers, and health care professionals through March of Dimes Canada’s Post-Polio Canada program. Post-Polio Canada offers survivor stories, support groups, and informative resources to anyone touched by polio or post-polio syndrome.

“We look forward to the day when the world is declared polio-free,” adds Boughner. “But we also recognize the need to support people who survived this terrible illness, and still live with it. And that’s what we’re going to do.”

Further details are available at: 

Tina Siegel, PR and Media Cordinator
March of Dimes Canada 
Office: 1-800-263-3463 ext. 7258
Cell: 416-606-0541


March of Dimes Canada is a nationally registered charitable organization providing support services to people with disabilities, their families and caregivers across Canada. Our goal is to enhance the independence and community participation of people with disabilities every day through a wide range of programs and services across Canada.  For more information, please visit or call 1-800-263-3463.   

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