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Africa on the verge of eradicating Polio

Africa on the verge of eradicating Polio


The clock is ticking to the end of polio in Africa, almost three decades after increased efforts to halt its advancement.

When the Global Polio Eradication Initiative was formed in 1988, about 350,000 children were getting infected with wild polio virus every year worldwide.

Today, the number of infections is now down 99%, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In Africa, the last case of wild polio diagnosis was in the Puntland region of Somalia, on 11 August 2014.

But the continent must still stay a full year without new cases to be declared polio-free. The virus has no cure and mainly affects children under five.

In the absence of un-vaccinated hosts, the virus dies out – And that’s what experts hope will happen to the virus.

Globally, only two diseases have ever been eradicated: Smallpox and rinderpest.

Campaigners hope polio will be the third.