Yahoo! It has been one full year since polio was detected anywhere in Africa, a significant milestone in global health that has left health experts around the world doing a quiet happy dance! The goal had seemed close in recent years, but somehow, someway polio always managed to roar back, particularly in Nigeria. Officials embraced a vigorous new approach to vaccination and surveillance in that country, hiring thousands of community “mobilizers” to track down the unvaccinated, opening operations centers nationwide to monitor progress and seeking out support from clerics and tribal chiefs.
The result has been remarkable. Africa has never gone so long without a case of polio. But in an indication of how nervous experts still are that the disease may resurge, even the announcement from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative was tentatively headlined “Is Africa Polio-Free?”
When the global polio eradication drive began in 1988, more than 350,000 children around the world were paralyzed by the virus each year. Last year, only 359 were.
Read the complete story on-line – a great public health success. Lets keep our fingers crossed!