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Lunes, 23 de febrero de 2004 - 18:45 GMT
Inmunización contra la polio
Un bebé recibiendo una vacuna contra la polio

More than sixty million children in ten African countries are being immunised against Polio in the three days from 23rd to 25th February.

This is part of a final push to eradicate the disease. Some states in northern Nigeria have refused to participate because of fears about the safety of the vaccine.

This report from Ania Lichtarowicz:

Tens of thousands of health workers will go house to house over the next three days in an effort to immunise sixty three million children under the age of five in sub-Saharan Africa. The campaign is the start of monthly national immunisation days during the low season for polio. It's hoped that vaccinating children now - when the virus is at its weakest - will be the best way of stopping transmission.

When the polio campaign started in 1988, a thousand children were paralysed every day by the virus, last year less than eight hundred children were affected in total.

But claims by local religious leaders that the vaccine is unsafe have seriously hampered efforts to stop polio spreading ¿ not only in Nigeria, but also in India and Pakistan - where similar immunization schemes are due to begin shortly.

However the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, as well as state officials and religious leaders have commissioned independent tests that show the vaccine to be safe - they hope this will allay fears of parents and allow children to be protected against Polio.

immunise
inmunizar

sub-Saharan Africa
África Sub-Sahariana

virus
virus

transmission
el contagio

campaign
campaña

paralysed
paralizados

hampered
obstaculizado

Eradication Initiative
iniciativa para erradicar

commissioned
comisionaron, encargaron

allay fears
disipar los miedos



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