Oct 22, 2012

World Polio Day: The Fight Continues

Child receiving polio vaccine in mouth (Global Polio Eradication Initiative)

Every October 24, people around the world shine a spotlight on the importance of eradicating the crippling disease of polio.
Although only some 145 new cases of polio have been reported worldwide in 2012, in three countries this disease remains endemic: Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
At a recent United Nations event, representatives of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, leaders from donor nations and leaders from countries still battling the disease announced their resolve to eradicate polio and prevent its resurgence.
In the early 20th century, polio was one of the most feared diseases, paralyzing thousands of children every year. With the introduction of effective vaccines in the 1950s and 1960s, however, polio was brought under control in most countries.
Over the last 20 years, the United States has invested more than $2.1 billion in polio eradication, in partnership governments and international organizations.
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