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Health Leaders Formally Launch New Strategy For Polio Eradication

Health leaders from around the world gathered on Friday to formally launch a new strategy for eradicating polio, Newsweek’s “The Human Condition” blog reports in a post examining the challenges and successes health advocates face in attempting to wipe the virus out completely (Carmichael, 6/18).

Also In Global Health News: International Development Journalism Competition; Polio Vaccines In Nigeria; Antibiotic Prescriptions In Mexico; MDR-TB In N. Korea

Guardian Selects Winning Stories On International Development Wining submissions to the Guardian’s International Development Journalism Competition were published online Monday. The annual contest features stories about “issues facing the developing world [that] are often overlooked or underrepresented by the media,” according to the newspaper. Professional and amateur journalists wrote about…

U.N. SG Ban Commends India For Working To Improve Public Health

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday during travel to India met with Indian Minister of Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nazi Azad and “commend[ed] the country’s progress on health,” its “continued efforts towards achieving universal health coverage,” and its “commitment to the Global Strategy on Women’s and Children’s Health,” highlighting “its innovative programs in this area” and “the need to do more to promote the well-being of women and children,” the U.N. News Centre reports (4/26). Recognizing the “work still to be done to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, Ban said he would like to showcase India’s experiences and best practices in dealing with maternal and child health issues for others to follow,” according to the IANS/Daily News. Ban also “said [U.N.] member nations … are ready to help India in dealing with polio, malaria, tetanus, measles and HIV transmission-related mortality,” the news service notes (4/26).

CDC Director Calls For ‘Final Push’ To Eradicate Polio

“A ‘final push’ is needed toward eradication of polio worldwide, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control said” in an online update on the agency’s polio eradication efforts, United Press International reports. “Polio incidence dropped more than 99 percent since the launch of global polio eradication efforts in 1988 and no polio cases have been reported since January 2011 in India, one of the four remaining endemic countries, a CDC report said,” UPI writes. “‘Nevertheless, poliovirus transmission is ongoing in the other three endemic countries — Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan — and travelers have carried the infection back to 39 previously polio-free countries over the last several years,’ [the update] said,” according to UPI.

Large Childhood Immunization Campaign Begins In Haiti, With Support From U.S., Other International Partners

Haiti, the U.S. and other international partners on Monday launched “a nationwide vaccination campaign in the Caribbean country that seeks to curb or prevent infectious diseases, health officials said,” the Associated Press/Fox News reports. The campaign will include immunizations against measles, rubella and polio, as well as the pentavalent vaccine, which is effective against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenza type b, according to the news agency. Immunization rates are low in Haiti, with the WHO reporting slightly more than half of the population immunized for measles and polio, but the current campaign aims to vaccinate 90 percent of Haiti’s youth population, according to Health Minister Florence Duperval Guillaume, the news agency notes.

Polio Vaccination Campaign Targeting 72M Children In 15 African Countries Announced; Ugandan Health Authorities Declare Polio Outbreak

The WHO on Tuesday announced a mass polio immunization campaign in 15 African countries targeting a total of 72 million children, Agence France-Presse reports. “Polio has spread again in recent years with cases imported from some of the four endemic nations in Asia and Africa, mainly Nigeria, in a setback to global attempts to eradicate the crippling and sometimes lethal disease,” the news service writes (10/26).