WHO Reports Polio Eradicated in Somalia The World Health Organization says a massive vaccination campaign has eliminated polio in Somalia. But with war, drought and food shortages bringing on a catastrophic humanitarian crisis there, polio "could absolutely return," one doctor says.
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WHO Reports Polio Eradicated in Somalia

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WHO Reports Polio Eradicated in Somalia

WHO Reports Polio Eradicated in Somalia

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

There's news of success fighting another health threat. The World Health Organization says a massive vaccination campaign has eliminated polio in Somalia.

Thousands of volunteers fanned out across the country, giving nearly two million children repeated doses of an oral vaccine. The result - no Somali child has been paralyzed by polio in the past year.

But that very good news could be overwhelmed by all of the bad news there. War, drought and food shortages have brought on a catastrophic humanitarian crisis, say aid agencies, so bad that the U.N. children's agency UNICEF deems Somalia the worst place in the world for a child.

So polio, says one doctor, could absolutely return.

It remains a problem in countries that include Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan. And in other countries new cases were discovered last year.

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