Polio 'We're close to wiping out disease' - UNICEF

According to report, there have been zero cases of the crippling disease recorded across all of Africa this year and fewer than 25 globally.

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A health worker gives a child an oral polio vaccine in Kano, Nigeria. play (Sunday Alamba /AP) (Sunday Alamba /AP)
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International experts have said that the world has never been closer to wiping out polio than it is at the moment.

According to report, there have been zero cases of the crippling disease recorded across all of Africa this year and fewer than 25 globally.

However, polio eradication specialists are wary of claiming premature success and warn complacency could prove the project's downfall, but with only two countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan, reporting polio cases in 2015.

Notwithstanding, they see an end in sight and Peter Crowley of the United Nations children's fund UNICEF has said:

"We've never been in a better place to hold hopes of being able to eradicate this disease once and for all"

Also, Jay Wenger, head of polio eradication at the Gates Foundation, told reporters: "The progress is very impressive. We're looking forward to finishing the job."

He also added that the body had never gone anywhere near this long without any wild polio virus being found in Nigeria or in Africa as a whole.

In 1988, when the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) was formed to lead a battle to wipe out polio, the disease was endemic in 125 countries and paralyzed nearly 1,000 children a day.

According to Reuters, since then, thanks to huge vaccination campaigns, there has been a more than 99 percent global reduction in cases.

However, WHO's repeated warning is that as long as any child anywhere remains infected with polio, all children are at risk.

Meanwhile, Nigeria has not seen a single polio case for 8 months, a success that is largely due to political will from national, regional and local governments.

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