independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Polio 'can be thing of the past'

Ministers pledged 300 million pounds over the next six years to help protect people against polio

Polio could be eradicated in "our generation", the International Development Secretary said.

Justine Greening said that there is a "genuine opportunity" to make the crippling disease a "thing of the past".

The virus remains in just three countries around the world - Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria.

Ministers pledged £300 million over the next six years to help protect people against the disease - which attacks the brain and spinal cord, leading to paralysis, muscle wastage and sometimes death.

The money will be used to provide immunisations for "some of the most vulnerable and hard to reach groups of people," a Department for International Development spokeswoman said.

"Britain will not stand on the sidelines while easily preventable diseases like polio are still a risk to thousands of people around the world," said Ms Greening.

"Our generation has a genuine opportunity to make the devastating disease of polio a thing of the past, just as has happened with smallpox."

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-international-development(Department for International Development)

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