Beating Polio
Photographs by Jean-Marc Giboux/ WHO
Sierra Leone:
(L) Women bring their children to the Kroo court house for immunization. Kroo Bay is the poorest and most densely populated district of Freetown.
(B) Training volunteers and health workers for National Immunization Day in Freetown. The oral Polio vaccine is very easy to administer: 2 drops in the mouth of a child.
To bring this about, the WHO forged a global partnership involving Rotary International, UNICEF, the US. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), non governmental organizations, donor governments and health departments in the polio endemic countries. Over the last decade these partner agencies have provided not only funding, but technical expertise, advocacy and volunteers. In 1996, there were an estimated 35, 000 to 40, 000 polio cases worldwide.
Although the threat of polio has been contained in wealthy industrial nations, the disease is still crippling thousands of children in the world every year. In 1988 more than 160 member countries of the World Health Organization adopted a resolution for the eradication of polio by the year 2000. That year an estimated 350 000 polio cases occurred worldwide.
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