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World could be declared free of polio by 2018

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f2373 (Published 12 April 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f2373
  1. Anne Gulland
  1. 1London

Progress on eliminating polio has accelerated so much in the past year that the world could be declared free of the disease by 2018, according to the World Health Organization polio programme.

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), a public-private partnership spearheaded by WHO, has put together a six year strategy predicting that the last case of wild polio virus will occur by the end of 2014.

After that, a period of containment and certification will take place and if no further cases arise, the world will be declared free of a disease that just 25 years ago was affecting hundreds of thousands of people a year.

At a press briefing to launch the six year plan, Jay Wenger, director of the polio eradication team at the Bill …

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