Effort on to eradicate Polio from Asia in 2005

February 23, 2005

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative has announced its goal to eradicate Polio from Asia in 2005.

The 16 year old private-public project aims to add Poliomyelitis to the list of childhood diseases which have been eliminated. The World Health Organization, Rotary International, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and UNICEF are leading the Initiative and coordinating a series of overlapping immunization campaigns in the region.

In 2004 Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan cut their number of Polio cases by 45%. In 2005 the goal is to cut the number of cases by 100%.

The three countries are the last in Asia to have endemic polio, and the disease is confined to a small number of regions within the country. Only 186 cases were reported in 2004, down from 336 the previous year.