Emergency immunization programmes planned to tackle suspected polio outbreak in SyriaListen /
Since 1988, when the Global Polio Eradication Initiative was launched, the number of cases of polio has fallen by 99%.
There are currently just three countries where the disease is endemic–Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan—and experts are hopeful that polio will have disappeared completely within the next few years.
But the World Health Organization fears that a suspected outbreak in Syria, the first reported in the country since 1999, may spread throughout the region and prove difficult to contain amid civil unrest.
On the occasion of World Polio Day, observed this Thursday, 24 October, UN Radio's Nicki Chadwick in Geneva spoke to Oliver Rosenbauer, spokesperson for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
She asked him what action needs to be taken to deal with the suspected outbreak in Syria.