Wednesday, February 01, 2006
U.N.: Polio Eradicated in Egypt, Niger
GENEVA - Polio has been stamped out in Egypt and Niger, leaving just four nations in the world where the deadly disease is endemic, the U.N. health agency said Wednesday.
"Polio has been endemic in our country for all of recorded history," Egypt's Health Minister Dr. Hatem Mostafa El-Gabaly said. "The best tools of our age finally defeated this enemy, who has been with us from pharaonic times."
And the bad news:
Geneva-based WHO failed to meet its long-standing target of eradicating polio globally by the end of last year after hard-line Islamic clerics in northern Nigeria led an immunization boycott in 2003. They claimed the polio vaccine was part of a U.S.-led plot to render Nigeria's Muslims infertile or infect them with AIDS.