7 Mar 2010

Polio campaign in Africa

6:41 am on 7 March 2010

A campaign targeting 85 million children has been launched to eradicate polio in west and central Africa.

Some 400,000 health workers and volunteers will go from door-to-door in 19 countries, giving oral polio vaccine to children under the age of five.

The BBC reports Africa has made significant progress in the fight against polio, but the virus has still not been stamped out.

Previous efforts at eradication failed as too few children were vaccinated.

The work is a joint campaign by the Red Cross and United Nations.

Campaigns in the north of the country were met with suspicion by religious leaders in the past. But the BBC reports religious groups are now showing support for vaccination drives.