Following the largest polio epidemic in recent history, the World Health Organization is launching an intensive immunization effort in India. An estimated 1.3 million volunteers will go to door to door in an effort to vaccinate every child under five.
In 2002 India reported more than 1,500 new cases of the disease — easily the largest outbreak of the disease in decades. WHO had set a goal of eradicating polio by 2002, but now hopes to declare the planet free of polio by 2005.
Unfortunately, the BBC reports that the polio eradication effort faces a $275 million shortfall that could limit its immunization efforts.
UN targets polio in India. Emma Jane Kirby, The BBC, February 5, 2003.
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