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The Slow And Steady Race To Eradicate Polio Offers Hope

The results of a massive polio eradication programme, initiated before 17 years (1988) show promising results across different regions of the world. The programme was aimed at eradication of Polio from the world by the end of 2005. // The initiative, started in 1988, had a polio-free world by 2000 as its goal. No new deadline has been set, and success may depend, in part, on raising $200 million for more vaccination campaigns.

The polio virus mainly damages the spinal cord spreads at a rapid pace in areas with a dense population and poor sanitation. Egypt was one of the countries with a high incidence of Polio. Initiation of the polio vaccination program using an improved vaccine to combat the dominant strain of the polio virus has been responsible for elimination of the dreaded disease in Egypt.

This effect would soon be observed in India, where there has been a considerable reduction in the incidence of paralytic polio. From 200, 000 polio cases recorded before 25 years, India has really come a long way in reducing it to as little as 52.

The realization of such a goal can probably be attributed to the development of a more potent polio vaccine formulation. Following the halt of universal polio vaccination in Nigeria in 2003, there was a reappearance of the disease. Intensive immunization campaigns however effectively managed this crisis and suppressed the transmission of the severe crippling disease.

With such a hopeful feedback, the organizers and funding agencies are even more confident. However, the effort to eliminate polio has consumed more time and proved much harder than small pox eradication that was achieved before 30 years. One reason behind this could be the difficulty in the apparent detection of Polio.

"I don't think there's any question that it's going to succeed. The question is how long," said William T. Sergeant, an official of Rotary International. "The countries that were reinfect ed — they were places where we had stopped polio before, and we can stop it again."

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