Last night, an international public health emergency was declared by the World Health Organisation (WHO): the polio virus is spreading and ten countries are now vulnerable.This is an urgent call for the international community to redouble our efforts and finally eradicate polio.Like most young Australians, I grew up without suffering from or even knowing anyone with polio - it seemed a distant threat from times gone by. That's
testament to the massive impact of childhood immunisations, which helped to officially eradicate polio in Australia.
But we cannot become complacent. Last night's announcement shows that diseases like polio and measles can and do jump borders. We're concerned that vaccination rates for childhood diseases have dropped in some Australian communities and we've seen an increase in both the infection and hospitalisation of children as a result.Our National Ambassador for Immunisation, Jimmy Barnes, knows
that we can't risk the return of childhood diseases."Around the world, 14 children die from measles every hour. The most at
risk are kids, like my grandkids, under five years of age."Jimmy is joining UNICEF Australia in calling for a 100 per cent immunisation
rate. You can help make it happen: buy mum a pack of 200 measles vaccines for Mother's Day.