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WHO Syria Representative Discusses Polio Response In Xinhua Interview

Xinhua interviews Elizabeth Hoff, the WHO representative in Syria, about efforts to stop the spread of polio in the country, noting, “Recent cases of polio infections among Syrian children have prompted the [WHO] and the Syrian Ministry of Health to join forces to fight the outbreak of the viral disease.”…

As Long As Polio Exists Anywhere, World Is At Risk

“[A]s long as polioviruses circulate anywhere in the world, they can be exported to countries that are now poliomyelitis-free and can cause serious outbreaks,” Trevor Mundel, president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Health Program, and Walter Orenstein, a professor and associate director of the Emory Vaccine Center,…

Stop Polio In Three Endemic Countries To Prevent Its Spread Elsewhere

“One of our worst fears was recently confirmed: Polio has returned to Syria for the first time in 14 years, infecting at least 10 young children,” Siddharth Chatterjee, chief diplomat at the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, writes in an Al Jazeera opinion piece. “In…

Philippines, WHO Launch Mass Vaccination Campaign For Children

“The Philippine government and the [WHO] on Friday launched a mass vaccination campaign for children to prevent measles and polio outbreaks among survivors of typhoon Haiyan,” Bernama reports (11/22). “The campaign targets children in areas hardest hit by the disaster — starting with the evacuation centers in the city of…

WHO Confirms 2 Polio Cases In Cameroon

“The [WHO] confirmed two cases of wild poliovirus type 1 in Cameroon on Thursday, marking the first human cases there since 2009,” TIME reports (Katz, 11/21). “According to WHO, wild poliovirus was isolated from two acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) cases from Cameroon’s West Region,” RTT News writes (11/21). “An emergency…

Conflict Should Not Impede Efforts To Vaccinate Children Against Polio In Sudan

“As polio spreads across the war zones of Syria and Somalia, and stalks the Horn of Africa, our great opportunity to rid the world of another debilitating disease since smallpox is being thwarted,” Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF’s representative to Sudan, writes in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog.…

Militants Kidnap 11 Pakistani Teachers Involved In Polio Vaccination Campaign

“Militants kidnapped 11 Pakistani teachers involved in a polio vaccination campaign for school children on Saturday, officials said, the latest in a string of attacks on health workers trying to eradicate the deadly disease,” Reuters reports (Ahmad, 11/23). “Authorities said the workers were kidnapped on Thursday from the Bara area…

U.N. Appeals For Polio Funding For Horn Of Africa; Disease Detected In Cameroon

“Two U.N. agencies on Friday called on countries in the Horn of Africa region to remain watchful as [a] polio outbreak has significantly slowed down,” Xinhua reports. “The [WHO] and UNICEF also appealed for $88 million to support [regional] governments’ polio eradication efforts in 2014 and maintain the momentum built…

GAVI To Provide Support For Inactivated Polio Vaccine

“The GAVI Alliance is to begin providing support for the introduction of inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) as part of routine immunization programs in the world’s 73 poorest countries, GAVI’s Board decided [on Friday],” a GAVI press release states. “This decision will enable the Alliance to help countries reach more children…