Who remembers iron lungs? Who remembers not being allowed to go swimming or to the movies in the summers of the 1950s, because of the polio epidemic?
Along came the Salk vaccine and we then had protection from the dreaded polio. It can come back. The ease of travelling around the world means major outbreaks can easily transcend borders and impact previously polio-free countries.
In 1998, 40 children were infected by polio every hour. In 2016, fewer than 40 children were infected by polio during the entire year. The world is closer than ever to eradicating polio, but as long as there is one remaining case, every child is at risk.
In the coming months, Canada has the opportunity to demonstrate crucial global leadership in ending polio for good. Canada must provide its share of $150 million to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, to ensure that polio will never reappear.