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Eradicating polio in the Commonwealth     Send a link to a friend

[JAN. 21, 2006]  LONDON -- Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon has called for sustained political leadership to eradicate polio, a preventable disease that causes paralysis, physical deformity and often death. He said that the fight against polio is part of the fight against poverty, as one of the U.N. Millennium Development Goals is to combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases.

McKinnon was addressing a high-level consultative meeting on "Polio Eradication and the Commonwealth," conducted at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London on Nov. 30.

All but six countries in the world, including three Commonwealth countries, have eliminated polio, according to the World Health Organization.

The Global Polio Eradication program, launched in 1988, has involved $4 billion in a partnership consisting of donor countries, the World Bank, the U.N. Foundation, Rotary International, UNICEF, WHO, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide free vaccines. To date, some 2 billion children have been immunized in 200 countries.

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[Provided by the Good News Agency]

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