Polio was feared around the world prior to Jonas Salk developing a vaccine in 1952. It rose to pandemic levels across Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand in the first half of the 20th century.
The highly infectious disease primarily attacks children, and it has crippled and killed many over the years. Polio strikes its victims suddenly, and some are left permanently paralyzed.
But praise God the story of polio is changing! While there is no known medical cure, it is fully preventable through immunization.
In the past few decades the world has seen a remarkable 99% decrease in Polio! While only God can bring an end to the disease, we recognize the massive global eradication efforts: 20 million volunteers have collectively immunized nearly 3 billion children in the past 20 years!
But as long as Polio exists anywhere it remains a global threat and continues to bring immense suffering to the world’s most vulnerable children.
Only two nations remain in the battle against Polio today: Pakistan and Afghanistan. These nations also lie at the heart of the unevangelized world. Many remain without access to both needed medical care and the hope of Jesus Christ.
For Polio to come to a complete end, many more children must be vaccinated. This includes those in the most remote locations. But location is not the only hurdle to the immunization process.
Extremist groups have spread propaganda convincing many that the eradication program is part of a plot against their people and even against Islam. As a result, immunization workers have been killed.
This is a battle against more than just a disease. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but … against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). Only the power of God can permanently deliver these nations – and the entire world – from this disease. May immunizations reach all the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan, may this horrible disease be eliminated from the earth, and may the Gospel be shared even in these most remote and unreached regions of our world.
If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. - John 14:14