The final push for polio eradication: Addressing the challenge of violence in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria

Over the last two years, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), a private-public partnership that has reduced polio worldwide by 99% since its launch in 1988, has greatly expanded the coverage of polio vaccination in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria—the three countries where polio is still endemic and the success of the GPEI had previously been more limited. In Pakistan, the proportion of the highest-risk districts achieving the target vaccination threshold of 95% increased from 59% in January 2012 to a peak of 74% in October 2012. In Afghanistan, by the end of 2012, only about 15,000 children remained unreachable by vaccination workers, down from 80,000 in 2011; and in Nigeria, the proportion of high-risk local government areas where vaccine coverage reached the target threshold increased from 10% in February 2012 to 70% in February 2013.