NORMAN — The eradication of polio has been on the horizon for many years. Rotarians, headed internationally by Norman’s Ron Burton, have a multi-million dollar campaign to finish the job they joined in 1986: “We’re this close.”
Just this spring, India was declared polio free after years of vaccination efforts. Until this year, only three countries remained with outbreaks: Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The polio news from the World Health Organization this week is not encouraging. The agency said polio outbreaks have been reported in 10 countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
The WHO said Pakistan, Syria and Cameroon have allowed the virus to spread beyond their borders. They recommended the three governments require citizens to obtain certificates of vaccination before allowing travel abroad.
Civil war, religious extremism and unrest have complicated efforts to vaccinate children. Dozens of volunteers have been killed while trying to vaccinate children.
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