Africa conquers polio | NZZ

Four years after the last case of infection, the continent is now declared polio-free. As recently as the 1990s, tens of thousands of children had suffered paralysis from the virus.

A child receives a polio vaccination in the northern Nigerian city of Maiduguri.

Afolabi Sotunde / Reuters

Africa is free from the poliovirus. The World Health Organization (WHO) wants to officially declare this on Tuesday afternoon. Four years ago, Nigeria became the last African country to report infection with the virus. Thanks to a massive vaccination campaign, wild polio has now also been eradicated in the most populous country on the continent. “Wild polio” is the wild strain of the virus. There are also vaccine viruses in Africa that originate from oral vaccination, but their threat is comparatively small.