A senior official of the World Health Organization (WHO) said in Tehran Tuesday that Iran has made outstanding progress in becoming a polio-free country, reported Iran News Agency (IRNA).
Speaking at a press conference, WHO polio eradication coordinator, George Oblanpenko, said only four cases of child polio were observed in Iran in 1999, three of which originated in Afghanistan, said the agency.
However, he said, despite the remarkable achievement Iran has made in its fight against polio, Iran is still exposed to the risk of the disease due to the high incidence of polio in neighboring countries.
The WHO official named Pakistan and Afghanistan as two of Iran's neighbors where instances of child polio are still high, added the agency.
He said there is currently no sound assessment of the situation in Afghanistan due to the prevailing war and crisis in the country.
About 507 cases of polio were registered in Pakistan in 1999, which is a high figure, he said.
WHO is hoping to clean Europe of polio by the year 2003 and the entire world by the year 2005.
However, implementation of the program in the 2000-2005 period demands a budget of $1000 million, according to the agency – Albawaba.com
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