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Polio Vaccination Efforts In Sudan Have Stalled, U.N. Reports

John Ging, operations director of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, “told the U.N. Security Council on Monday that efforts to vaccinate 165,000 children against polio in Sudan’s violence-wracked South Kordofan and Blue Nile states have failed,” the Associated Press/Guardian reports (Lederer, 11/11). “The areas are under…

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…

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.N. Foundation Official Releases Statement Regarding Award For Frontline Polio Workers

A United Nations Foundation press release highlights a statement released Tuesday by Ambassador John Lange, a senior fellow for global health diplomacy at the foundation, regarding “the announcement that the United Nations Association of the USA will honor frontline polio workers at its Global Leadership Dinner in New York City.”…

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…

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