Islamic leaders and mosques are working to eradicate polio in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan, the only remaining polio-endemic nations.
Past vaccination efforts were adversely affected by rumors that vaccines were unsafe or contrary to Islam. In Pakistan, more than 20 Muslim scholars issued fatwas (authoritative religious opinions) that call for parents to immunize their children, said an aide to the prime minister.
As of May, 52 of the 55 known polio cases were in Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan — a big change from 1988 when there were 125 polio-endemic countries and 350,000 global cases of the disease.
© 2013 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers