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WHO declares Africa polio-free

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World Health Organization

Polio is officially declared eradicated from the African continent by the World Health Organization.

This comes after four consecutive years without a reported case and massive efforts to immunize children.

Following the announcement on Tuesday, the WHO chief,Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, held vitual meeting with the Nigerian philanthropist Aliko Dangote and American billionaire, Bill Gates.

"It is a tremendous victory, a deliverance," Tunji Funsho of the Nigeria Polio Committee of Rotary International told AFP. "It's been more than 30 years since we launched this challenge. To say that I am happy is an understatement," said the Nigerian doctor.

It takes three years without a reported case to obtain WHO approval, but the UN organization preferred to wait four years, "to be 100% sure the disease is completely eradicated.

Polio is a, infectious disease that mainly affects children, attacking the spinal cord and potentially causing irreversible paralysis.

It was endemic disease throughout the world until a vaccine was discovered in the 1950s.