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World Health Day -- April 7, 1995

"Target 2000 -- A World Without Polio" is the theme for the annual World Health Day on April 7, 1995 (1). In 1988, the World Health Organization (WHO) established as an objective the global eradication of poliomyelitis by the year 2000 (2). Progress toward this goal has included the elimination of endemic polio from the Western Hemisphere and the global reduction in reported polio by more than 70% since 1988 -- achievements that also have underscored the feasibility of eradicating this disease. In addition, strategies recommended by WHO for achieving polio eradication have been implemented in many countries with endemic polio (3). For example, the number of countries with endemic polio that have conducted National Immunization Days (NIDs) increased from 15 in 1988 to approximately 36 in 1995; an additional 25 countries are planning to conduct NIDs later this year. The global partnership among governments and organizations working toward this common goal includes polio-endemic countries, WHO, Rotary International, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the International Development Banks, and the governments of Australia, Canada, Japan, and the United States. On World Health Day, a program will be conducted in Washington, D.C., by the Pan American Health Organization and the WHO Regional Office for the Americas.

Additional information about the global polio eradication initiative is available from WHO headquarters in Geneva, the regional offices of WHO, and CDC. Reported by: Special Program for Vaccines and Immunization, Pan American Health Organization, Washington, DC; Global Program for Vaccines and Immunization, World Health Organization, Geneva. Respiratory and Enterovirus Br, National Center for Infectious Diseases; International Health Program Office; Polio Eradication Activity, National Immunization Program, CDC.

References

  1. Global Program for Vaccines and Immunization, World Health Organization. World Health Day 1995 information kit. Geneva: World Health Organization, January 1995.

  2. World Health Assembly. Global eradication of poliomyelitis by the year 2000. Geneva: World Health Organization, 1988. (Resolution WHA41.28).

  3. Hull HF, Ward NA, Hull BP, Milstien JB, de Quadros C. Paralytic poliomyelitis: seasoned strategies, disappearing disease. Lancet 1994;343:1331-7.




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