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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…

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…

Middle East Nations Sign Joint Resolution Declaring Polio Eradication An Emergency Priority

“Some 21 nations in the Middle East and nearby regions have jointly made the eradication of polio an emergency priority and recognized that Pakistan is a key part of the problem, the [WHO] said Wednesday,” the Associated Press reports (11/13). “Pakistan approved the resolution, which the WHO says includes Afghanistan, Bahrain,…

News Outlets Examine Regional Polio Vaccination Campaign In Middle East

The Christian Science Monitor examines polio vaccination efforts in Syria, writing, “[W]ith at least 10 recent confirmed cases of the paralyzing virus, international health workers are worried about a regional outbreak of the virus, particularly given the constant flow of Syrians to neighboring countries.” The news service writes, “Doctors and…

IRIN Examines Efforts To Stop Polio’s Spread In Horn Of Africa

“Efforts to stop the spread of polio in the Horn of Africa region are being ramped up with major immunization campaigns underway, targeting millions of vulnerable children,” IRIN reports. “There have been outbreaks in Kenya and Ethiopia, and more seriously neighboring Somalia, with 183 cases confirmed this year up to…

Southern Afghanistan Marks 1 Year With No Recorded Polio Cases

“No new cases of wild poliovirus have been reported in southern Afghanistan in the last year, UNICEF said Tuesday, marking a crucial milestone in the country’s battle against the debilitating disease,” TIME reports, noting “Afghanistan is one of the three remaining countries (along with Pakistan and Nigeria) where polio is…

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…