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IRIN Examines Lower Profile Of Pakistan’s Polio Immunization Campaigns

“Attacks on vaccination teams, militant threats and the abduction of teachers facilitating [a polio immunization] campaign in November 2013 have handicapped efforts and led to a new strategy” for conducting vaccinations in Pakistan, IRIN reports. “It means an end to the kind of campaigns seen in the past, often headed…

WHO, UNICEF Launch Polio Vaccination Campaign Targeting 23M Children In Middle East

“The [WHO] and UNICEF have launched a massive polio vaccination campaign aimed at immunizing 23 million children in the Middle East after 17 cases were discovered in Syria, the agencies announced Monday,” Al Jazeera America reports. “It will be the largest-ever immunization response in the region, WHO and [UNICEF] said…

Pakistani Religious Scholar Speaks In Support Of Polio, Other Vaccines

“A radical Pakistani religious scholar known as the ‘Father of the Taliban’ has issued a fatwa urging parents to immunize their children against polio and other fatal diseases, adding that vaccinations comply with Islamic law,” Agence France-Presse reports. “The edict by Maulana Sami-ul-Haq, who heads the hardline Dar-ul-Uloom Haqqania seminary,…

Bill Gates Reflects On Polio Vaccination Efforts In Nigeria

Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, writing in a post in the foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog, reflects on a recent trip to Nigeria, where he “was able to learn firsthand about how work is going on polio eradication and immunizing kids against preventable diseases.” Gates writes,…

Two Policemen, Polio Worker Killed In Separate Incidents In Pakistan

“Two policemen and a polio worker were killed by gunmen in separate incidents in restive northwest Pakistan on Friday, officials said,” the Los Angeles Times reports (Ali/Magnier, 12/13). “In the first attack Friday, gunmen opened fire on two officers as they were riding on a motorcycle to the town of…

Polio Resurgence In Syria Could Reinvigorate Global Campaign Against Disease

“As of November 26, WHO has confirmed a polio outbreak with a total of 17 cases caused by wild poliovirus type one in Syria, which had been polio-free since 1999,” a Lancet Infectious Diseases editorial states. “At present, polio is endemic in three countries — Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan,” the…

NPR Examines Efforts To Eradicate Polio In 2013

“The lowest number of polio cases ever recorded in the world was 223. And 2013 was on track for an even lower number, on the road to complete eradication of the virus,” NPR’s “Shots” blog reports, adding, “But this was a year when polio pushed back. Hard.” The blog examines…

Reuters Examines Polio Eradication Efforts In Syria

“The Syrian government excluded the largely rebel-held province of Deir al-Zor — where polio broke out this year — from a 2012 vaccination campaign, arguing that most residents had fled although hundreds of thousands were still there, a Reuters investigation shows,” the news service reports. “Public health researchers say missing…

Security Concerns Hampering Polio Eradication Efforts In Pakistan

Al Jazeera examines how “security concerns and negotiated access” are threatening Pakistan’s polio eradication efforts, writing, “Since July 2012, 31 people have been killed in Taliban-led attacks on anti-polio campaigners in Pakistan.” The news service notes, “Most recently, two policemen providing security to polio vaccinators in Swabi were killed when…

Provide ‘The Gift Of Vaccines’ To All Children Globally

In a post in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog, José Esparza, a senior adviser on global health and vaccines at the foundation, reflects on the “miracle of vaccination,” which he notes led to the eradication of smallpox in 1980 and has “been critical in reducing the…