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J Infect Dis. 1997 Feb;175 Suppl 1:S10-5.

Overview of poliomyelitis in the African Region and current regional plan of action.

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African Regional Office, World Health Organization, Brazzaville, Congo.


The African Region of the World Health Organization includes a diverse membership of 48 countries and territories that has made substantial progress toward controlling poliomyelitis. The coverage with three doses of oral poliovirus vaccine among 1-year-old children reached 58% in 1995, a substantial increase from 49% in 1993, and the incidence of poliomyelitis decreased from 5126 cases in 1980 to 1597 in 1995. To interrupt poliovirus circulation, 29 countries planned to conduct either national immunization days (25 countries) or subnational immunization days (4 countries) during 1996. To ensure the success of these efforts, high-level political commitment has been obtained in many countries, and the campaign to "Kick polio out of Africa" is supported by some of the most respected African politicians. Provided the necessary resources can be obtained from internal and external sources, the African Region may be able to achieve the eradication of poliomyelitis by the year 2000 or shortly thereafter.

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