World Polio Day 2024 : Date, Significance, Themes, and More

World Polio Day 2024: The World Polio Day is celebrated every year on the 24th of October. According to the WHO World Health Director, “eradicating polio is feasible, preventing billions of cases of paralysis and death, saving billions of dollars, and providing assurances that no parent in the world will ever have to worry about this terrible disease.

Several years ago, Rotary International launched World Polio Day to celebrate the birth of American medical researcher and virologist Jonas Salk for his work on the development of a polio vaccine.

The aim of using the inactivated polio vaccine and oral polio live vaccine was to establish the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988. This is a public-private partnership between several organizations, including Rotary, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

History of World Polio Day

World Polio Day is an initiative of Rotary International to eradicate the disease.

  • Every year on October 24, we celebrate the birthday of Jonas Salk, who developed the polio vaccine.
  • This year’s World Polio Day 2018 will be held on Thursday, October 24th.
  • The number of cases of polio increased from 3 50 000 in 1998 to 37 in 2017

What is polio?

Polio is a highly contagious viral disease affecting mainly infants under the age of 5 years. Poliovirus is transmitted from person to person, mainly via the stool-mouth route or through contaminated water or food. After transmission, the virus begins to multiply in the intestine, where it can invade the nervous system and cause paralysis.

What are the symptoms of polio?

The Initial symptoms of polio are:

  • Fever
  • Tiredness
  • A headache
  • Vomiting
  • The stiffness of the neck and pain in the limbs

Treatment and prevention of polio

So far no treatment for Polio has been found, but it is possible to prevent it by a safe and effective vaccination, ie by vaccination. The prevention of Polio by vaccinating children is an effective strategy to rid of polio. Under the leadership of Rotary and other partner organizations, 2.5 billion children have been vaccinated and the world is now 99.9 percent polio-free.

  • The polio vaccine can be given orally in the form of an oral polio vaccine (OPV) developed by Albert Sabin: first dose at birth at the initial dose of 6, 10 and 14 weeks and 16 to 24 months as a booster dose.
  • Injectable Polio vaccine (IPV) was administered with DTP in the 3rd dose as part of the Universal Immunization Program (UIP).

What is the prevention of polio?

There is no cure for this disease, but there are effective and safe Polio vaccines. The disease can be prevented by vaccination.

The polio vaccine protects a child for a lifetime. The Polio strategy is therefore based on the prevention of infections by immunizing every child until the transmission ceases and the world becomes polio-free.

There are two types of vaccines that prevent infections:

  • OPV (oral polio vaccine)
  • Injectable Polio vaccine (IPV)

World Polio Day

Many events are organized to draw attention to the disease, the symptoms, the cause, and the need to eradicate polio, especially in rural areas of the world. Volunteers organize camps to vaccinate children under five free of charge. Rotary clubs around the world are organizing various activities to celebrate World Polio Day.

How to celebrate the world polio Day?

World Polio Day is celebrated enthusiastically by Rotarians and dedicated members of other organizations, as well as by volunteers who work tirelessly to eradicate polio completely. As the basis of Rotary International, America is the main organizer of this event.

One of the commendable achievements of World Polio Day 2017, organized by the Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation, is that the Rotary Foundation and the Rotary Club have pledged to raise nearly $ 450 billion to eradicate polio in the world.

Rotary members in recent polio-affected countries – Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria; Organize numerous programs to raise public awareness of the disease, its causes and effects, and in particular the need to vaccinate children regularly. Local fundraisers are organized to encourage both individuals and businesses to donate to the noble cause of the complete eradication of the polio epidemic.

The ceremony also honors members who work hard and sometimes risk their lives by going door-to-door in some of the most inhospitable areas and areas of the world and working with the local government, which is not so friendly. In Pakistan, some religious extremists regard oral vaccination of children as an outrage against their religious modesty and sometimes strongly reject violent vaccination campaigns.

Everyone from around the world, however, can contribute and encourage friends and family members.  We have almost reached the end, but we still, have to take the last step.

Polio in India

  • The eradication of Polio in India was a difficult challenge, but an intensive vaccination campaign, education campaigns, and close monitoring made this possible.
  • The efforts of our Indian government, Rotary, WHO, and other organized organizations have been successful when India received the WHO polio certificate on March 27, 2014. Since then, seven years have passed since the last case of Polio in India.

The theme of the world polio Day

The themes of an event can serve different purposes. World Polio Day is celebrated each year with a new theme that sets the goal and inspires millions of people who are committed to the cause. The topics below also provide a goal to accomplish or mark the beginning of a new step toward the goal.


  • The theme of World Polio Day 2015 – “End Polio Now: Make History Today”.
  • The theme of World Polio Day 2016 – “I Want to End Polio – Join Me”.
  • The theme of World Polio Day 2017 – “A celebration of the Unsung Heroes of Polio eradication”.
  • The theme of the World Polio Day 2018 – End Polio Now
  • The theme of the World Polio Day 2024 -A healthier future for mothers and children

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