Africa Approaches Partial victory against polio

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Africa Approaches Partial victory against polio

Africa will most likely be declared polio-free in 2020.

The fight to end polio has been on for a long time. The global campaign to eliminate the virus has been going on since 1988, and while it’s close, it’s not over.

By 2020, Africa will be polio-free. That’s a victory for Africa but only partial as the disease is still hanging on stubbornly in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and as long as it hangs on, it has tendencies to spread around the globe.

The effort to eradicate polio commenced more than 30 years ago. Since then there have been massive campaigns which rely on global funding, countless volunteer vaccinators, negotiations with political and religious leaders and parents. Vaccinators sometimes work in conflict zones, all to save lives and prevent lifelong disability.

In Kenya, facts about polio and the vaccine are taught in schools. Children are even taught what to tell their parents.

The international effort has seen the polio cases drop by 99.9%. Nigeria had its last case more than three years ago and already declared polio-free. It’s possible that all of Africa will be declared polio-free next year.

Another victory: There used to be three strains of the virus. As of this week, there is now only one.

Culled from

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