Log out
My profile and settings
My bookmarks
Comment history
Please complete your account verification. Resend verification email.
today
This verification token has expired.
today
Your email address has been verified. Update my profile.
today
Your account has been deactivated. Sign in to re-activate your account.
today
View all newsletters in the newsletter archive
today
You are now unsubscribed from receiving emails.
today
Sorry, we were unable to unsubscribe you at this time.
today
0
0
Back to profile
Comment Items
You have not left any comments yet.
title
you replied to a comment:
name
description
Saved Posts
You haven’t bookmarked any posts yet.
“When I was young, there were few options to learn on my own.”
read more
Become a Gates Notes Insider
Sign up
Log out
Personal Information
Title
Mr
Mrs
Ms
Miss
Mx
Dr
Cancel
Save
This email is already registered
Cancel
Save
Please verify email address. Click verification link sent to this email address or resend verification email.
Cancel
Save
Address
Cancel
Save
Email and Notification Settings
Send me updates from Bill Gates
You must provide an email
On
Off
Send me Gates Notes survey emails
On
Off
Send me the weekly Top of Mind newsletter
On
Off
Email me comment notifications
On
Off
On-screen comment notifications
On
Off
Interests
Select interests to personalize your profile and experience on Gates Notes.
Saving Lives
Energy Innovation
Improving Education
Alzheimer's
Philanthropy
Book Reviews
About Bill Gates
Account Deactivation
Click the link below to begin the account deactivation process.
If you would like to permanently delete your Gates Notes account and remove it’s content, please send us a request here.

“Last Mile” to Polio

Digital Mapping Technology Helps Polio Vaccinators Zero In
Health workers are using digital mapping to target polio in Nigeria.
|
0

One of the challenges getting from 99% to 100% on global polio eradication is making sure that all children are getting the multiple doses of the polio vaccine necessary to build up immunity.

To stop polio from circulating, you need to ensure that most children under the age of five receive several doses of the vaccine to build up their immunity. This is very difficult when there are hundreds of remote villages and hamlets that vaccinators don’t know about, nomadic tribes, and people in a castes or religious sects that don’t mix with the rest of the population.

Recently, public health officials began using GIS technology in Nigeria—one of the three remaining polio-endemic countries—to improve the quality of maps that tell vaccinators where to go. They are also using GPS technology to monitor the movement of vaccination teams. This kind of surveillance reduces the chances a team will miss an area that still harbors the disease.

The global health community has done an amazing job on polio, reducing the number of paralysis cases from 350,000 in 1988 to less than 200 so far this year. In 1988, more than 125 countries were endemic. Today, only three remain.

Yet, people sometimes ask me why we haven’t finished the job. It’s an understandable question since most countries got rid of polio a long time ago. One of the biggest reasons is that polio is a highly-contagious disease that travels quickly and easily. Another is the need to give each child multiple doses of the vaccine.

The use of digital mapping technology underlines the minute level of detail, planning, and organization required to completely eradicate polio. I’m optimistic that it will really help vaccinators cover the “last mile” in the delivery of polio vaccines.

Meanwhile, we can’t afford to ignore the other important pieces necessary to eradicate polio—sustaining political will and funding so vaccinators can reach children in every village, and ensuring accountability so the disease has nowhere else to go.

Read this next
NEXT