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Disease Eradication Efforts Set Sights On Polio, Guinea Worm

“It’s not a race, exactly, but there’s an intriguing uncertainty about whether a former U.S. president or a software magnate will cause the next deliberate extinction of a species in the wild. Will Jimmy Carter eradicate Guinea worm before Bill Gates eradicates polio?” Wall Street Journal commentator Matt Ridley asks…

New York City Mayor Bloomberg Pledges $100M To Global Polio Eradication Initiative

“New York [City] Mayor Michael Bloomberg has pledged $100 million to help the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and others to fight polio around the world,” the Associated Press reports (2/28). Bloomberg “plans to announce Thursday that he is giving $100 million through the philanthropic arm of his foundation to the Global…

Moving Beyond Condemnation To Actions That Protect Health Workers

“Between December and January, at least 16 polio workers were killed in Pakistan, according to Reuters — and [on Friday], nine female health workers were slain in northern Nigeria, also while working on a polio eradication campaign,” Laura Hoemeke, director of communications and knowledge management at IntraHealth, writes in the organization’s “Global…

Bill Gates Answers Questions On Global Health, Other Issues In Reddit ‘Ask Me Anything’ Discussion

“Former chief executive and current chairman of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates did a Reddit AMA (ask me anything) Monday and discussed several important global health issues,” the Global Dispatch reports (Herriman, 2/11). The Huffington Post’s “Global Motherhood” blog also recaps the discussion, writing that readers “flooded…

Learning From India’s Success In Eradicating Polio

In a post in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog, Shelley Thakral, senior communications officer for the foundation’s India Country Office, interviews Orin Levine, director of vaccine delivery at the foundation, about his recent trip to India “to observe the experience of Bihar, a state in Northern…

More Polio Workers Killed Than Reported Cases Of Disease, NPR Reports

“The global effort to eradicate polio has reached a bizarre stage: More people have been gunned down recently over the disease than actually infected with it,” NPR’s “Shots” blog reports. “On Friday, nine polio vaccinators in northern Nigeria were shot dead and their clinics were torched,” the blog writes, adding, “The attack…

Blogs Examine Root Causes, Implications Of Myths About Polio Vaccination

Citing a review by Telegraph correspondent Rob Crilly criticizing the film Zero Dark Thirty “for getting its facts wrong about the CIA vaccination campaign that sought to confirm the DNA of [Osama] bin Laden’s children,” development blogger Tom Murphy writes in the Humanosphere blog, “Crilly’s larger point is to say that the film…

Polio Eradication Must Fit Into Larger Public Health, Development Goals

“The tragic murders of nine anti-polio workers in Pakistan last month, followed by the New Year’s Day killing of seven more local community development workers, was both a wake-up call to the global polio eradication effort in its current form, and a ‘canary in the mine’ regarding the deteriorating state…

World Must Work Together To Take Advantage Of 'Unique Opportunity' To End Polio

“Ten years after Europe was declared polio-free, the world stands tantalizingly close to eradicating the disease for good,” but “[t]he world’s chances of achieving this once unthinkable goal of ending polio are being jeopardized by a funding gap of $945 million,” Sir Liam Donaldson, chair of the Independent Monitoring Board of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, writes in this EurActiv.com opinion piece. “This shortfall means vaccination campaigns for 2012 will face cancellations in 33 countries, leaving 94 million children under-immunized,” Donaldson notes, and continues, “This is not just unacceptable: it is also highly damaging and will make our efforts to eradicate polio more expensive and challenging in years to come.”