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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…

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…

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…

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,…

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,…

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…

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…

Polio Outbreak In Syria Expected To Worsen; Refugees, Children Need Humanitarian Aid

The polio outbreak in Syria “has grown to 17 confirmed cases, the WHO said last week” and declared a polio emergency in the country, NPR’s “Shots” blog and “All Things Considered” reports. “The Syrian government has pledged to immunize all Syrian children under age five. But wartime politics is getting…

Stronger Measures Needed To Protect Polio Workers From Attacks In Pakistan

“Attacks on polio workers have become dangerously frequent, and so security measures are being ratcheted up,” an editorial in Pakistan’s The Nation states. “But even in cases where apparently ample security is provided, attacks happen. Instances where police patrols accompanying the health workers, have themselves come under fatal attack, are…

Police Officers Guarding Polio Vaccinators Shot In Pakistan; One Killed

“Gunmen in northwest Pakistan attacked police officers guarding a team of polio vaccination workers, killing one officer, police said,” United Press International reports (11/30). “Officials say the police were attacked Saturday in Peshawar, the capital of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province,” VOA News writes, adding, “No group has claimed responsibility for…

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