The Story of polio eradication, and thus the story of this film, is as much about the messenger as the message.  The Foot soldiers in the war to end this horrific disease once and for all comprise the largest non-military army in human history, and they are close to succeeding.  Over 350,000 cases of polio were reported in 1988; by 2007 that number has declined to around 2,000 cases, mostly children under age 3 in India, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan.  The Final Inch is a powerful 38-minute film about both the legacy of polio in the U.S. and the public health heroes who are courageously fighting to end its brutal reign in the poorest areas in the world.


What exactly is polio?

Polio is:

  • A crippling and potentially fatal infectious disease, polio (poliomyelitis) still strikes children mainly under the age of five in countries in Asia, Africa, and the eastern Mediterranean region.
  • Polio can cause paralysis and sometimes death.  Because there is no cure for polio, the best protection is prevention. For as little as US$0.60 worth of vaccine, a child can be protected against this crippling disease for life.   
  • It can cause paralysis within hours, and polio paralysis is almost always irreversible. 
  • In the most severe cases, polio attacks the motor neurons of the brain stem, causing breathing difficulty or even death.
  • Historically, polio has been the world’s greatest cause of disability.

If polio isn’t eradicated, the world will continue to live under the threat of the disease. More than 10 million children will be paralyzed in the next 40 years if the world fails to capitalize on its US$5 billion global investment in eradication.