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The final frontier in polio eradication

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This World Immunization Week, the global goal of polio eradication is closer than ever, although more needs to be done to deliver a world free from the disease.  

Children are vaccinated against polio at the Spinboldak border crossing between Afghanistan and PakistanChildren are vaccinated against polio at the Spinboldak border crossing between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Photo credit: WHO/J. Jalali

28 April 2016 – WHO's World Immunization Week 2016 kicked off this week with the aim of raising international awareness on the critical importance of full immunization from childhood through to adulthood. One of the campaign’s major focuses is the crippling poliovirus; incurable, but preventable with a simple vaccine. World Immunization Week is an opportunity to celebrate the progress marked by the drop in cases by 99.9% in the last 3 decades; but it also calls for increased momentum for the final push to overcome the last remaining pockets of the virus and wipe out the disease. 

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Population (m) 29.7
Health expenditure (% of GDP) 9.5
Adult (15+) literacy rate (%) 34.8
Life expectancy at birth F/M (2010) 63.2-63.6

Sources: Central Statistics office, Afghanistan National health Accounts, Afghanistan Living Conditions Survey, Afghanistan mortality survey. 

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