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The Last Child

In remote villages and urban slums, an army of experts and committed volunteers is fighting what could be the final battle in an age-old war. With adequate funding and much perseverance, they may soon wipe out the last trace of an enemy that has plagued humanity for thousands of years.

This is the war on polio.

THE LAST CHILD tells the behind-the-scenes story of the global campaign to eradicate polio, the dreaded childhood disease that continues to cripple and kill. From the frontlines in Nigeria, India, Haiti and elsewhere, you'll witness the victories and challenges of trying to wipe out a disease worldwide for only the second time in history.

The polio eradication campaign is the largest non-military, global enterprise ever. It involves dozens of organizations, scores of governments, thousands of health workers and millions of volunteers. In a world of AIDS, malaria and other health crises, the eradication of polio would demonstrate that humankind can triumph over the darker side of nature.

The campaign has made remarkable progress, reducing polio cases from 350,000 a year to fewer than 1,000 in just over 15 years. Yet, as THE LAST CHILD shows, health workers face major obstacles in defeating the virus once and for all. Some communities are refusing polio immunizations. The vaccine is developing dangerous mutations. And some experts now question whether polio can ever be eradicated. But the cost of failure would be staggering. If the campaign loses steam and immunization rates drop, polio could quickly re-emerge and threaten a whole new generation of children, even in places that have long been polio-free.

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