POLIO SPREADING ACROSS AFRICA

GENEVA - The International Federation of the Red Cross warned that polio is spreading again in 14 countries across Africa, including areas where the disease had once been eradicated.

GENEVA - The International Federation of the Red Cross warned that polio is spreading again in 14 countries across Africa, including areas where the disease had once been eradicated.

An outbreak previously restricted to southern Sudan and western Ethiopia had recently spread to Kenya, Uganda and northern Sudan, the federation reported.

Yesterday the group noted that in the past, polio originating from eastern Africa had spread, probably owing to the heavily used sea ports there, to Gulf states and countries as far away as Indonesia.

The outbreak had also moved to the Democratic Republic of Congo and neighbouring countries.

Polio today is considered endemic only in Afghanistan, India, Nigeria and Pakistan.

The organisation said it needed at least $2million (about R19million) to respond to the viral outbreak.

In February, United Nations agencies and other groups started a polio vaccine campaign to immunise 53million children in eight West African countries, including Nigeria. - Sapa-dpa

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