Today the YouTube homepage is featuring an Oscar®-nominated film set in the slums of India. No, not that one -- this film tells a true story. In honor of World Health Day, YouTube is highlighting The Final Inch, an inspiring short documentary created by Google.org and Vermillion Films about a group of dedicated health workers who are going door-to-door to give polio vaccines to children in the poorest areas of the world. You can watch the film here and embedded below.
In addition to hosting the film in its entirety on YouTube today, the film is also airing tonight at 7:15pm ET/PT on HBO2 and is available on HBO on demand. (See the full HBO schedule here).
Since polio no longer exists in the developed world, many people assume the disease has been eradicated. Tragically, it has not. In the early days of Google.org, the team wanted to bring attention to the global challenge of polio eradication and tell the story of those who are on the front lines helping the most vulnerable -- children under age 5 living in the world's poorest, most remote regions. The result is a stunning 38-minute film which depicts the crippling disease and offers a hopeful account of the eradication effort. We hope the film will encourage those working hard on wiping out polio - and those who have forgotten it still exists - to bring the eradication effort over the finish line.
In 1988, before the WHO eradication effort began, the polio virus was endemic in more than 125 countries, paralyzing more than 1000 children every day. Today, only four countries in the world are considered polio-endemic by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (Nigeria, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan) and there are fewer than 1700 reported cases of polio. As the eradication effort closes in on the disease, the work becomes more difficult as polio’s strongholds remain in the world’s poorest countries which often lack the basic health infrastructure to distribute vaccine.
The millions of public health workers putting themselves on the front lines vaccinating children are the true heroes of the eradication effort. Our film tries to capture their story. We hope you enjoy the film; but more importantly we hope that you're inspired to contribute and advocate for the cause. You can find out how to participate by clicking 'learn more' on The Final Inch website.