WHO takes Nigeria off list of polio-endemic countries

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LAGOS: The World Health Organization on Friday took Nigeria off the list of polio-endemic countries, hailing a “historic achievement” more than a year after the last recorded case of the disease in Africa’s most populous nation. The announcement, made in a statement and at a meeting of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in New York, leaves just two countries — Pakistan and Afghanistan — on the list. In declaring Nigeria “no longer polio endemic”, the WHO said: “This is the first time that Nigeria has interrupted transmission of wild (naturally occurring) poliovirus, bringing the country and the African region closer than ever to being certified polio-free.” The last case was in the Sumaila district of Kano state, northern Nigeria, on July 24, 2014. Countries have to go at least 12 months without a case before they can be considered for removal from the list while polio-free status comes after three years without a case.

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AFP

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