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U.N. Agencies, Rotary International Launch Mass Polio Immunization Campaign In Central Africa

The WHO, UNICEF and Rotary International on Thursday announced they will kick off a “mass polio immunization campaign in three Central African nations” on Friday “in response to a polio outbreak suspected in more than 100 deaths and deemed ‘unusual’ because it targets adults more than children,” that was first confirmed in the Republic of Congo on Nov. 4, the Associated Press reports.

WHO Director-General In Pakistan To Monitor Flood Relief, Polio Vaccinations

WHO will continue to support efforts to boost polio eradication efforts in Pakistan, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said recently during talks with Pakistani health officials, the Associated Press of Pakistan reports. Chan was in the country to review health relief operations in Pakistan’s flood-affected areas.

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…