World Eradication Of Polio
The goal for the total eradication of polio, just as small pox has been eliminated, has annually been nearing a reality. About 600,000 cases of polio were reported each year before the introduction and full use of the polio vaccines. That number held firm from the mid-1950s to the early part of the next decade of the 1960s. By 1992 the number of reported cases throughout the world dropped to 15,406. Peru in 1991 was the only country in the western hemisphere to report one case of polio.
There are, however, areas in the world that still are at risk for the transmission of polio viruses. The World Health Organization recommends that immunization of children below the age of five be carried out and that oral polio vaccine be used instead of the Salk type. According to WHO, at least five doses of the oral vaccine should be given door to door on immunization designated days. Networks of clinics and reporting services should also be available to monitor the effective implementation of these immunization drives.
It was the World Health Organization that was responsible for the world eradication of smallpox by waging an 11-year campaign against the virus that caused it, the variola virus. WHO was able to bring countries together to use a vaccine that had been discovered 170 years ago. The polio viruses, however, are still active and there really may be 10 times as much polio in the world than is actually officially reported.