Vaccines are a miracle tool. They prevent disease from striking which is better than treating it after the fact.
Bill Gates

The total number of polio cases worldwide dropped from 650 in 2011 to fewer than 250 in 2012.

Eradicating a disease like polio would be a huge achievement.

Mr Gates has described the fight to eradicate polio as, “a proving ground, a test. Its outcome will reveal what human beings are capable of, and suggest how ambitious we are about our future."

What is clear is that even as numbers have reduced, to get to this point has taken a huge amount of effort, global collaboration and funding.

Leprosy left behind

Although the number of new leprosy cases identified each year is half of what it was eight years ago, we know we have a long way to go.

In India, where more than half of new cases each year occur, one person starts treatment for leprosy every four minutes. Worldwide this statistic increases to one every two minutes.
Although leprosy numbers were quick to reduce after the discovery of Multi-drug therapy in the 1980’s progress against the disease has stagnated.
Lepra Chief Executive Sarah Nancollas
 
“What we need is a massive push for leprosy like that planned for polio. Without it we will continue to see numbers plateau and, who knows, possibly increase.”