GENEVA – Polio has been eradicated from ten of 18 African nations where the disease was reintroduced after Nigeria boycotted a vaccine.
The UN's World Health Organization calls the progress a major boost to a global efforts to rid the world of the polio.
In 2003, hard-line Islamic clerics in Nigeria claimed the vaccine was part of a U.S. plot to spread AIDS or make Muslims infertile. The boycott was lifted eleven months later. But in that time, outbreaks were recorded across Africa, the Middle East and Indonesia. Two-hundred children in the ten countries became permanently paralyzed during the boycott.
Polio is spread when unvaccinated people — mostly chiausing paralysis, and, in some cases, death. It's classified as endemic in Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Niger, Afghanistan and Egypt.