oa Southern African Journal of Epidemiology and Infection - Announcement of polio certification and laboratory containment initiative in South Africa

Volume 21, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1015-8782
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1084



In 1988 the World Health Assembly resolved to eradicate poliomyelitis worldwide. Since then, the number of reported cases globally has been reduced by over 99% from an estimated 350 000 in 1988 to 1 567 cases in 2005. In the African region, significant progress towards interrupting the final chains of transmission continue as a result of routine and mass immunisation programmes using the inexpensive oral polio vaccine (OPV). Significant challenges to the programme in 2003 due to cessation of immunisation in northern Nigeria and the subsequent spread of wild poliovirus to many countries of west and central Africa have been overcome. All states of Nigeria are once again participating in polio campaigns, and the outbreaks due to importations in the neighbouring countries have been brought under control.

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