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Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Print version ISSN 0042-9686

Bull World Health Organ vol.82 n.5 Genebra May. 2004 



First polio case in southern Africa since 1997



Health authorities confirmed a new case of polio in Botswana on 14 April — the first in southern Africa since 1997 — and traced it to Nigeria. The finding jeopardizes progress in the eradication of the disease and has prompted preparations for a nationwide immunization campaign to reach 250 000 children in Botswana.

In the past 18 months, wild polioviruses genetically linked to northern Nigeria have emerged in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo and Botswana — all previously polio-free countries.