Africa declared free from wild polio

Africa declared free from wild polio

Africa is free from wild poliovirus, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced on 25 August — leaving just two countries where the virus remains endemic, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Africa Regional Certification Commission, an independent body responsible for overseeing the eradication of polio, has certified that all 47 countries in the WHO’s Africa Region have eradicated the virus after a long programme of vaccination and surveillance. There is no cure for the disease, which can cause irreversible paralysis and can be fatal if breathing muscles are affected, but vaccination can protect people for life.

The certification is a “historic” achievement, says Pascal Mkanda, coordinator of the polio-eradication programme at the WHO Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo.

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Aster Medical Journal
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