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Thursday, February 25, 2021

WHO to declare Africa polio-free

The World Health Organization is set to certify today that the African continent is free from wild polio, four years after the last cases appeared in northeastern Nigeria.

“Thanks to the relentless efforts by governments, donors, frontline health workers and communities, up to 1.8 million children have been saved from the crippling life-long paralysis,” the WHO said in a statement.

The official announcement is due this afternoon in a video conference with WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and key figures, including philanthropist and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

“Happiness is an understatement. We’ve been on this marathon for over 30 years,” said Dr Tunji Funsho, a Nigerian doctor and local anti-polio coordinator for Rotary International.

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