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March 28, 1986

Medical News & Perspectives

JAMA. 1986;255(12):1541-1548. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370120015002

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Worldwide assault on poliomyelitis gathering support, garnering results  Poliomyelitis A oliomyelitis is no longer a prominent public health risk in the United States. But in the developing countries, its eradication remains a pressing concern.The World Health Organization (WHO) of the United Nations estimates that fewer than 10% of children in such countries are immunized against six common childhood diseases: polio, pertussis, diphtheria, tetanus, measles, and tuberculosis (Sixth Report on the World Health Situation, Geneva, WHO, 1980). In an effort to eliminate these diseases, WHO's Expanded Program on Immunization—initiated in 1974—has set the goal of making immunization available to every child in the world by 1990.The reported annual incidence of poliomyelitis in Africa and Southeast Asia has averaged 4,214 and 17,785 cases, respectively, from 1974 through 1982. The reported incidence of polio per 100,000 population ranges from four cases in Bangladesh to 34 in the Ivory Coast ( World