Polio: The Fight Continues  pg. 2

Unfortunately, WHO recently suffered a setback in its initiative to eliminate the disease from the planet by 2004. Islamic clerics in northern Nigeria suspended polio immunizations after claiming the vaccine was contaminated with contraceptives and HIV. The suspension contributed to a resurgence of polio in the area, including several cases in neighboring countries. Earlier this year, after two independent labs found no evidence of contamination, Nigeria's president Olusegun Obasanjo pronounced the vaccine safe. Suspicion about the vaccine continues, however, and also has hampered immunization efforts in parts of India.

Faced with these new challenges, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative—a coalition of governments and international health and humanitarian organizations—are redoubling their efforts to achieve a world free of polio.

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