The synchronized cross-border campaign flagged off in Moribabougou, a small town and commune situated 15 kilometers south-east of the Malian capital, Bamako.
Speaking at the occasion, Dr Sambo noted that in 2009, a 29 percent reduction of polio cases was recorded in the African Region as whole, and a 50 percent reduction in Nigeria.
This necessitates the organization of mass campaigns of this nature in order to ensure that the goal of polio eradication is achieved, he said.
The Regional Director called on countries to redouble their efforts in order to ensure that wild poliovirus transmission was interrupted by June 2010 in all re-infected countries in the Region; by December 2010 in the three countries with prolonged transmission (Angola, Chad and D.R. Congo), and, finally, by 2011 in Nigeria, the Region’s only polio-endemic country.
The campaign is spearheaded by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, a network of partners including national governments, WHO, UNICEF, Rotary International, the Centers for Disease Control and the International Federation of the Red Cross.
Press release: http://www.afro.who.int/en/media-centre/pressreleases/2243-synchronized-polio-campaign-west-and-central-africa.html