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WHO Suspends Polio Vaccination Campaign In Pakistan After 2 Volunteers Shot

The WHO “on Tuesday withdrew polio-vaccination teams from the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar after two volunteers were shot, in another setback to eradicating the crippling disease that remains resilient in the region,” the Wall Street Journal reports (Symington/Hodge, 5/28). “The victims of the shooting in the violence-plagued northwestern city…

Polio Cases Detected In Kenya, Somalia, WHO Says

The WHO “says the Horn of Africa is experiencing an outbreak of polio with cases confirmed in Kenya and Somalia,” the Associated Press/Washington Post reports. The “WHO said Wednesday that a four-year-old girl near the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya and two of her contacts tested positive for polio, the…

Security Officer Protecting Pakistani Polio Team Killed In Attack

“Gunmen attacked a polio vaccination team in one of Pakistan’s restive tribal regions on Monday, killing a policeman who was providing security, officials said,” Agence France-Presse reports (5/20). “Local government administrator Faramosh Khan [said] the gunmen attacked the team on Monday in the town of Mamound in the Bajur tribal…

Washington Post Blog Interviews Bill Gates On Global Health, Polio Eradication

In the Washington Post’s “Wonkblog,” columnist Ezra Klein interviews Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, about his focus on improving global health and efforts to eradicate polio. According to the interview transcript, Gates discusses challenges in public health data collection, replicating successful health programs in different…

Somalia Reports First Wild Poliovirus Case Since 2007

Somalia has recorded its first wild poliovirus case since 2007, the WHO announced on May 11, Nature’s “News Blog” reports. “Genetic testing to determine the virus’s origin is underway and should be complete this week, according to a WHO representative,” the blog writes. Polio immunization campaigns have not taken place…

First Polio Case Identified In Pakistan’s Waziristan Since Taliban Immunization Ban

“A child has contracted polio for the first time in Pakistan’s militant-infested tribal belt since the Taliban banned vaccinations a year ago, a U.N. official said Monday,” Agence France-Presse reports. “Tribesmen in North Waziristan, Pakistan’s most notorious stronghold of Taliban and Al-Qaeda linked militants, endorsed the Taliban ban and stopped…

Opinion Pieces Address Global Polio Eradication Efforts

The following opinion pieces address the global polio response. Qanta Ahmed, Sania Nishtar, and Ziad Memish, The Lancet: “Today [the] ambitious goal [of global polio eradication] is threatened, partly by misinformed and politicized religious views that not only seed suspicion about polio vaccination but recently led to murder of polio…

With GPEI Plan, Polio Eradication May Finally Be Within Reach

“After 25 years of remarkable achievements and sometimes harrowing setbacks, a successful conclusion to global polio eradication could finally be within reach,” Nellie Bristol, a fellow with the Global Health Policy Center at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C., and J. Stephen Morrison, senior vice…

U.S. Must Continue ‘To Lead By Example’ To Immunize World’s Children

“[T]he progress UNICEF has made [in Cameroon] to prevent polio infections shows exactly what we’re capable of when we work hand-in-hand with the U.N. — and when the U.S. does not have to go it alone,” Peter Yeo, vice president of public policy at the United Nations Foundation, writes in…

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