The World Health Organization (WHO) is expected to certify the African continent today as “free of wild poliovirus”, four years after the appearance of the last cases in northeastern Nigeria.
“Thanks to the efforts of governments, health workers and communities, more than 1.8 million children have been saved” from the disease, said the WHO in a statement issued before this historic event, a crucial step towards the global eradication of the disease.
The official announcement, via videoconference from 15:00 GMT (16:00 in Lisbon), will be attended by the Director-General of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, and Nigerian billionaires and philanthropists Aliko Dangote, from Nigeria, and Bill Gates, from the United States.
“It is a tremendous victory, a liberation,” he told France-Presse Tunji Funsho of the Rotary International’s Nigeria Polio Committee.
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