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WHO, African Ministers To Discuss Polio Crisis

U.N. health officials and health ministers from several African countries are due to meet Wednesday in Geneva to discuss ways to stem rising polio numbers.

Ministers from Nigeria, Niger, Egypt, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Sudan, the Central African Republic and Chad are due to take part in the talks.

The World Health Organization says the worldwide number of polio cases rose by more than 30 percent last year, to more than 1,170. The majority of cases were in Nigeria, India and Pakistan.

WHO efforts to eradicate the disease worldwide by the end of this year have been hampered by a months-long vaccine boycott in northern Nigeria, after opponents there said the vaccine was contaminated with infertility agents.

Polio attacks the nervous system, causing paralysis and sometimes death.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.