In partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), Kenya will host a pan-African conference next week to review progress in polio eradication on the African continent, UN health officials said Friday evening.
The African Regional Accreditation Council (ARCC) conference on polio eradication in Nairobi from November 12th to 16th will review progress to prove that the continent is free from debilitating viral disease.
Seven countries – Cameroon, Nigeria, Guinea-Bissau, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Equatorial Guinea and South Africa – will report on their efforts to eradicate polio.
The hosts Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Namibia are expected to submit evidence that the wild polio virus does not exist.
Nigeria remains the only wild African species of poliovirus, and efforts are being made to strengthen its proliferation in vulnerable countries such as Niger, Kenya, Somalia and the DRC.
Kenya's WHO spokesman, Rudi Eggers, said African countries welcome progress toward polio eradication, but raising awareness is key to preventing recurrence.
"Countries across Africa are making great strides in eradicating polio, but the virus is very capable of a hiding virus, and if missed, it would have serious consequences for the eradication effort.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says only three countries – Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria – suffer from sickness but the world faces polio eradication.
Africa has made significant progress in preventing wild polio virus transmission since 1988, when the Global Polio Eradication Initiative was established.
WHO has partnered with the African government to expand polio vaccination, surveillance and hygiene education as a means to prevent highly contagious viral diseases leading to paralysis in affected patients.