World Health Organization
A child receives oral polio vaccine in Angola.
Polio, a once-dreaded scourge, is nearly gone. After a 15-year program to eradicate the disease worldwide, cases in children have dropped from 350,000 infections in 1988 to fewer than 700 cases in 2003.
Yet the endgame is proving difficult. A recent polio outbreak in Nigeria worried international health officials enough that they convened a meeting in Geneva to discuss whether it's really possible to rid the world of polio. NPR's Joanne Silberner reports.