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Humanitarian Agencies Need Unhindered Access Within Syria

In Syria, it is “abundantly clear that political conflict is severely impacting public health,” Abdelhadi Eltahir, senior health coordinator at the International Rescue Committee (IRC), writes in the Huffington Post’s “Global Motherhood” blog. “Government-supported clinics closed down months [ago], meaning the most at-risk population of mothers, babies and the elderly…

Israel Working To Stem Silent Spread Of Polio Within Its Borders

“Twenty-five years after it had been dispatched, wild poliovirus [is] back in Israel and spreading fast,” Science magazine reports, adding, “Retrospective analysis of sewage samples has shown that the virus has been circulating since February but, surprisingly, has caused no cases of paralysis.” According to Science, “The country is now…

False Information, Attacks On Health Workers Hindering Polio Efforts In Pakistan

Deutsche Welle examines how “[a]ttacks against health workers and the willful dissemination of false information are deterring the fight against polio in Pakistan.” “While in the rest of the world polio vaccines have reduced the number of polio cases, polio vaccination teams are endangered by al Qaeda extremists in Pakistan,…

Syria’s Polio Outbreak May Threaten Europe, Scientists Warn

“In [an article] published Thursday in the medical journal The Lancet, two German public health experts warn that Syria’s [polio] outbreak may threaten Europe,” National Journal reports (Koren, 11/7). “Dr. Martin Eichner of the University of Tubinge in Germany and Dr. Stefan Brockmann of the Reutlingen Regional Public Health Office…

U.N. Warns Humanitarian Situation In Syria Deteriorating ‘Rapidly And Inexorably’

“The humanitarian crisis inside Syria is escalating rapidly with more than nine million people — about 40 percent of the population — in dire need as winter approaches and agencies find it increasingly difficult to deliver aid inside the war-ravaged nation, the United Nations warns,” the Los Angeles Times reports.…

WHO Reports Additional Laboratory-Confirmed MERS Case In Saudi Arabia

The WHO “said Monday it has been informed of an additional laboratory-confirmed case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in Saudi Arabia,” RTT News reports. “The patient was a 56-year-old woman from Saudi Arabia’s eastern region, who became ill on October 26 and died on October 30,” the…

Syrian Government Vows To Deliver Polio Vaccinations To Children

“Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad vowed on Monday that the government will deliver polio vaccination to children after fresh reports of infections in Syria emerged last week,” Xinhua reports. “Mekdad told reporters that the government does not hinder humanitarian aid efforts to reach different places within the country, adding…

Opinion Pieces, Editorial Address Spread Of Polio In Syria

The following is a summary of two opinion pieces and an editorial addressing a polio outbreak in Syria. Joel Brinkley, Kansas City Star: “With little health care to speak of, infectious diseases are devastating the nation — including a new outbreak of polio, not seen in Syria since the late…