No more poliomyelitis in Russia, says Chief Sanitary doctor

"There is no more poliomyelitis in Russia," said Gennady Onishchenko, First Deputy Health Minister and Chief Sanitary Doctor of Russia, at a press-conference on Tuesday.

Onishchenko said that Russia is a country that is "as free of poliomyelitis as is the entire European region of the World Health Organization." The Deputy Minister said that the WHO European Regional Commission will examine the corresponding certification confirming that fact on June 21.

According to Onishchenko, up to 1955 from 3 to 17 polio cases were registered annually among children under the age of three. In 1955 the epidemiological situation with that disease sharply aggravated, with 154 registered cases, including 144 on the territory of Chechnya.

Onishchenko noted that the outbreak of the disease in the Chechen Republic was the result of the "failure of the inoculation campaign." But already in 1996 only 3 polio cases were registered in Chechnya, and beginning with 1997 there were none.

The Deputy Minister noted that as a result of the implementation of the planned immunisation in 2001, 97% of the population were inoculated.

Onishchenko said that mankind "is still on the threshold of winning a great victory over polio" for the disease still occurs in countries like, for example, India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Angola, Egypt, Niger and Nigeria.

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