In 1988, a global initiative was launched to eradicate polio. Since
the initiative was launched, the number of polio cases has dropped by more
than 99%, from an estimated 350 000 cases worldwide in 1988 to 1919 cases
in 2002. In the same period, the number of countries with significant numbers
of polio cases dropped from 125 to 7. Countries that presently have the highest
rates of polio include Afghanistan, Egypt, India, Niger, Nigeria, and Pakistan.