We are approaching World Polio Day on Oct. 24, a reminder of the gains we have made against a disease that once terrorized people everywhere.

After more than 30 years of effort, the World Health Organization declared its African region free of wild polio in August. Only Afghanistan and Pakistan continue to report cases of the wild virus.

This was an incredible achievement for Rotary International and our partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, and while I am eager to celebrate this progress, I am also concerned.

Earlier this year, polio immunization campaigns in vulnerable countries had to be temporarily paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All the while, the polio eradication program has played a vital role in lending its infrastructure to support the COVID-19 response.

As polio immunization activities begin to safely resume in countries where polio remains a danger, we must do our part to continue the march toward global eradication, because as long as polio exists anywhere it remains a threat everywhere.

Visit endpolio.org to learn how you can get involved. I am confident that if we remain focused, we can beat polio for good.

Ezra Teshome, Seattle, Rotary Polio Plus Chair, District 5030