Tune in to the Africa Kicks Out Wild Polio certification event! To stream on Facebook, click here.

1.8 million

wild polio cases averted*

9 billion

oral polio vaccine doses


220 million

children vaccinated multiple times every year

2 million

volunteer vaccinators support polio campaigns every year

* Estimates between 1996-2020

In 1996, the great African leader Nelson Mandela launched the Kick Polio Out of Africa campaign with Rotary International’s support, setting out a vision for a polio-free Africa. At the time, wild polio paralysed 75,000 children each year. To protect communities from this crippling disease, African leaders, health workers, volunteers, parents, global donors and organizations united to reach every child with polio vaccines.  

On 25 August 2020, after four years without a single case of wild polio, the African region has been certified free of wild poliovirus. Decades of extraordinary investment has paid off. 

Yet, the job is not finished. These efforts must continue to prevent wild polio from returning and to end all forms of polio for good – both in Africa and globally.



All 47 countries in the African region have kicked out wild poliovirus. Hover over each country to see when the last case was reported and when it was declared free of wild poliovirus.

Photos ©️ Andrew Esiebo/WHO (Nigeria, 2020)

The Legacy of Polio eradication in Africa

Stopping wild polio in Africa has brought benefits far beyond saving children from paralysis. Africa’s health systems and public health programmes are much stronger because of the investments made in immunization, disease surveillance and outbreak response. Today, a vast network of trained polio staff and community workers help protect millions of children from vaccine-preventable diseases, while responding to health emergencies, like COVID-19. Polio’s legacy must continue to be leveraged and built on in order to achieve other major health goals in the African region.


DRC: The great lengths that polio vaccinators go to reach every last child

The top Five tech solutions that helped eradicate WPV

Nigeria: Borno - Africa's final frontier for eradicating wild polio

Mandela: The leader who helped kick WPV out of Africa

Interview with Prof Leke: How To Certify A Region WPV Free

How Africa's polio infrustructure supported the COVID-19 response


Stopping wild polio in the African region was made possible by the tireless dedication of thousands of frontline heroes, polio survivors and champions who devoted countless hours and travelled thousands of miles, sometimes at great risk, to protect children with the vaccine.

Musicians Theo Nzonza and Koko Ngambalia , Theo and Koko are members of the band Mbongwana Star but have been active in Congo's music scene for many years, both are survivors of Polio.

Democratic Republic of Congo: Téo Ntituvuidi and Coco Ngambali


Nigeria: Ayuba Gufwan

Roger Vuanda Movita was only two when polio took away his ability to walk. The crippling disease, locally known as buka-buka, has since hindered his life. The seventeen surgical operations he has undergone throughout his lifetime have not allowed him to fully regain the use of his lower limbs. Nevertheless, today at age 58, Roger is a successful sports journalist in Bas Congo province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Democratic Republic of Congo: Roger Vuanda Movita

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Nigeria: Lawan Didi Misbahu

Isiaku Musa Maaji, a polio survivor, assembles a tricycle for other polio survivors at his workshop in Kaduna, Nigeria. He built his business by working with clients such as the local government and, more recently, with Rotary. He has become close to the Rotary family because he found them to be well organized, truthful and committed to helping the less privileged, particularly Rotary's support of polio immunization in Nigeria. He has begun participating in door-to-door polio vaccination efforts. 11 April 2019. Find the story in "The Rotarian," October 2019.

Nigeria: Isaiku Musa Maaji

16th Feb. 2020.
Maiduguri, Nigeria.
Adama Balla, 45, is a polio survivor from Borno State. She is a disability rights activist, who holds a masters degree in education from the University of Maiduguri. She became paralysed at 15 months. She is married with two healthy children. Adama is part of what is called the Polio Survivors Group, a group of volunteer polio survivors from the local community. The Polio Survivors Group accompanies vaccination teams during door to door vaccination campaigns to explain to parents who are hesitant to vaccinate their children, the risk that they put their children at if they don’t vaccinate them. “I am very happy that I am part of wild polio eradication,” says Adama. “The next generation will be healthy. No more wheelchairs, no more crutches. It’s about time that people believe that vaccines are safe.”

Nigeria: Adama Balla

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South Sudan: James Giir Thiik

Rotarian Marie-Irene Richmond-Ahoua, Cote d'Ivoire PolioPlus Committee chair, inoculates a child with polio vaccine during a welcome ceremony kicking off a National Immunization Day in the village of Messikro, Cote d'Ivoire, 28 April 2013. Find the story in "The Rotarian," October 2013, pages 45-51.

Côte d’Ivoire: Marie-Irène Richmond-Ahoua 

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Mali: Adama Traoré

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Nigeria: Rahane Lawal

Dr. Tunji Funsho administers polio vaccine to a child in Makoko, a neighborhood in Lagos, while Tiwa Savage looks on. Tiwa Savage, Nigerian pop star and mother, joined Dr. Tunji Funsho, Chair of Rotary's National PolioPlus Committee for Nigeria, to participate in a National Immunization Day in Lagos, Nigeria on 22 April 2017. Savage recently joined the End Polio Now campaign as a Polio Ambassador.

Nigeria: Tunji Funsho

Community health worker Hawa Amadou, 70 years old walks through a community in Dosso, Dosso region, Niger on April 22, 2017. She is a commencing house to house visits administering the polio vaccination Biopolio B1/3.

Hawa says “It's been 30 years since I have been undertaking this work, since the creation of the district health centre in Dosso. I undertake social mobilization activities for malaria, tuberculosis, malnutrition and polio. I enjoy my work because I want to help my community. I trust them and they trust me.”

Niger: Hawa Amadou 

Faltmata Mustapha, a polio survivor, had accessibility challenges and relied on public transportation in her community before receiving a tricycle, donated by Rotary. It gives her independence, allowing her to travel outside of her neighborhood and join the door-to-door polio immunization campaign team. She works to convince parents of the importance of vaccination and increase in immunization compliance in the community. Buri Shehuri North, Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria. 29 April 2019. Find the story in "The Rotarian," October 2019.

Nigeria: Falmata Mustapha

Grammy Award winner Angélique Kidjo performs a song from her album "Eve." The third annual World Polio Day webcast being produced in New York City, USA, 23 October 2015.

Benin: Angélique Kidjo

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Kenya: Harold Kipchumba

Aliko Dangote, President & CEO Dangote Group, speaks during a meeting on polio eradication efforts in Nigeria by partner agencies and organizations is in progress at the Polio Emergency Operations Centre in Abuja, Nigeria on March 22, 2018.

Nigeria: Alhaji Aliko Dangote

16th Feb. 2020.
Maiduguri, Nigeria.
Adamu Musa, 68, father of Zakaria Musa, a polio community volunteer supporting the polio program immunize children in inaccessible areas. Zakaria, who was in his early 20s, had just finished his school education and was volunteering with the program until he found a stable job. He lost his life only weeks before he got married.“My son Zakaria always wanted to do something meaningful. I am not happy that he died but at least the job he died for is now completed,” Says Musa.

Nigeria: Adamu Musa

Tiwa Savage administers polio vaccine. Tiwa Savage, Nigerian pop star and mother, joined Dr. Tunji Funsho, Chair of Rotary's National PolioPlus Committee for Nigeria, to participate in a National Immunization Day in Lagos, Nigeria on 22 April 2017. Savage recently joined the End Polio Now campaign as a Polio Ambassador.

Nigeria: Tiwa Savage

Patience Asiimwe (center), a Rotaractor who traveled in her native Uganda with a polio vaccination team as part of Rotary's virtual reality film, Two Drops of Patience. 28 July 2018, Kampala, Uganda. Appeared in "The Rotarian," October 2018, cover page.

Uganda: Patience Asiimwe


Eradicating all forms of polio in the African region requires a combination of strategies, adapted to the continent’s challenges of distance, migration and insecurity.


How the polio program reached every last child in the African Region

Disease Surveillance

From the field to laboratory – how polio cases are detected 

Outbreak Response

Responding to cVDPV outbreaks

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