It was eradicated 18 years ago but polio is back in Papua New Guinea, and since the first case was detected in April, dozens more families have been affected.
And this had much to do with low levels of immunisation in the country.
We always speak about herd immunity: if enough children in a community are immunised against a disease, then that disease will no longer be able to travel through that community. So when you choose not to vaccinate, you’re essentially breaking that barrier, putting the more vulnerable in society who are still too young to be vaccinated, at risk.
For the most part, polio affects children under the age of 5 and the most visible sign is paralysis. And unfortunately, this seems to have been the case in Papua New Guinea.