Three steps closer to a polio free Africa
- By: Andrew Moscrop
Last month witnessed the final effort in a massive three stage polio vaccination campaign in war torn central Africa. Tens of thousands of door to door teams will complete the last of three synchronised rounds of national immunisation days in Angola, Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire), and Gabon.
The campaign has been coordinated by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, a collaborative group comprising members of WHO, Unicef, Rotary International, and the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Experts hope that the efforts made in these African countries (four of only 20 nations in which wild poliovirus is believed to still exist) will contribute significantly to the initiative's objective of declaring the world polio free in 2005.
The aim of the campaign has been to provide a complete three dose course of oral polio vaccine to 16 million children. To ensure maximum efficacy, the days were