Africa soon to be polio-free

It has been three years since the last reported case of the virus in the continent.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Africa is on the verge of being declared polio-free, after three years without any recorded cases of the disease.

On Wednesday, Nigeria marked three years without a wild polio case. If no more incidences emerge in the next few months, Africa could officially be declared polio-free in 2020.

Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO regional director for Africa, said: “We are confident that soon we will be trumpeting the certification that countries have, once and for all, kicked polio out of Africa.”

While WHO experts celebrated the achievements of the past three years, they underlined that political will and funding will need to be sustained, and all children under five protected.

The virus is still endemic in Pakistan and Afghanistan and will need to be eradicated there before the world can be declared polio-free.

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