Panafrican News Agency

Burkina Faso: Burkina Faso certified polio-free

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (PANA) - The regional certification commission has certified Burkina Faso polio-free, after the country did not report any case of the crippling disease since 25 Sept. 2009, PANA reported Tuesday.

Countries are certified to have eradicated polio only if no cases of the wild poliovirus are reported for three successive years.

On Monday, the Burkina government said it was pleased with the ''success'' which was a result of the expanded immunization programme embarked upon since 1975 by the authorities.

The West African nation's success also stemmed from the strong political commitment by its leaders and the massive mobilization of its technical and financial partners as well as its medical staffers and the entire population.

PANA reports that 11 Aug. 2015 marked one year without a case of wild polio confirmed on the African continent for the first time in history, according to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

Recent outbreaks in the Horn and Central Africa appear to have been stopped, and on 24 July, Africa’s last polio-endemic country, Nigeria, reached one year without a reported case.

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative has put in place the Polio Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013–2018, which is a comprehensive, long-term strategy that addresses what is needed to deliver a polio-free world by 2018.