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Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar Report MERS Cases, Deaths

The WHO on Monday “confirmed the first two Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) cases in Kuwait, while a media report said Spain now has its second probable case in a woman who participated in the recent hajj in Saudi Arabia,” CIDRAP News reports (Roos, 11/18). In addition, “Saudi health…

Saudi Arabia Must Remain Vigilent, Transparent On MERS

Citing two conflicting studies on Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) — one showing “a slowly growing epidemic” and the other not — a Washington Post editorial states, “The behavior of this virus is a matter of concern to the world. Much is unknown, and much will depend on Saudi…

News Outlets Examine Regional Polio Vaccination Campaign In Middle East

The Christian Science Monitor examines polio vaccination efforts in Syria, writing, “[W]ith at least 10 recent confirmed cases of the paralyzing virus, international health workers are worried about a regional outbreak of the virus, particularly given the constant flow of Syrians to neighboring countries.” The news service writes, “Doctors and…

Middle East Nations Sign Joint Resolution Declaring Polio Eradication An Emergency Priority

“Some 21 nations in the Middle East and nearby regions have jointly made the eradication of polio an emergency priority and recognized that Pakistan is a key part of the problem, the [WHO] said Wednesday,” the Associated Press reports (11/13). “Pakistan approved the resolution, which the WHO says includes Afghanistan, Bahrain,…

WHO, UNICEF Launch Largest-Ever Polio Vaccination Campaign In Middle East

“The U.N. has launched the largest-ever polio vaccination campaign in the Middle East, aiming to immunize more than 20 million children in seven countries amid an outbreak of the crippling virus in war-torn Syria, officials said on Friday,” Agence France-Presse reports (11/8). “The mass vaccination against polio, which can spread…

Blogs Address Global Spread Of Polio

The following is a summary of two blog posts examining the global spread of polio. John Campbell, Council on Foreign Relations’ “Africa In Transition” blog: Blog contributor Campbell examines polio in Nigeria and Somalia, noting both countries “are venues of a deep distrust of the West, and particularly the United…

Syrian Government Must Allow Humanitarian Organizations Access To All Syrians

Noting issues of security and access for humanitarian organizations working in Syria, Magne Barth, who heads the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delegation in Syria, writes in a Washington Post opinion piece, “If allowed, we could do much more to reduce the suffering of civilians, but it is…

Editorial, Opinion Pieces Respond To Global Spread Of Polio

The following is a summary of an editorial and two opinion pieces addressing the spread of polio, focusing on Syria, where the WHO last month confirmed 10 of 22 suspected cases of the disease. Boston Globe: “The U.S. State Department, along with several humanitarian agencies, is calling on all parties…

U.S., Iran Should Consider Employing Vaccine Diplomacy

“September’s historic dialogue between President Obama and Iran’s President Rouhani together with calls to seek constructive engagement opens the door to a little known but powerful foreign policy instrument, which could simultaneously create new life-saving vaccines,” Peter Hotez, president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute and dean of the National School…