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Global Public Health Policies by KV Ramani

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CHAPTER 7

Polio Eradication

7.1 An Introduction

Polio (myelitis) is a highly infectious disease, which can cause irreversible paralysis and dystrophy (wasting) of the muscles, leading to severe disability. Anyone can contract the disease, but children under the age of 5 years are most vulnerable to polio attack. Polio is transmitted through the fecal–oral route. It has no cure and therefore has to be eradicated. Even though polio vaccines were available since 1954, 125 countries were polio endemic in the mid-1980s.

The 41st World Health Assembly in 1988 declared global polio eradication by 2000.1 It marked the launch of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), spearheaded by national governments, World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary ...

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