Hundreds of parents “are defying threats of jail time by refusing polio vaccines for their children in a high-risk northern Nigerian state,” according to Muhammad Abdu Zango, Kano state coordinator of Journalists Against Polio, the Associated Press/Seattle Times reports.
Officials In Nigerian State Say Parents Who Refuse Polio Vaccination For Children Could Be Prosecuted
“Officials in Nigeria’s northern Kano state say parents who refuse to have their children vaccinated against polio may be prosecuted,” VOA News reports. “Officials began a four-day immunization campaign in Kano on Thursday, with the goal of immunizing six million children,” according to the news service (7/29).
“Spying is a messy business that necessarily involves deceit, and U.S. intelligence operatives need latitude to do their work. In this case, however, the planners and approvers of the CIA [vaccine] operation didn’t appropriately calculate the possible consequences of their actions on an agenda that is as important to the world as fighting al-Qaeda,” a Bloomberg editorial states.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Thursday announced a three-year partnership with the soccer team FC Barcelona aimed at promoting polio eradication and highlighting the importance of vaccines, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s “Seattle Big Blog” reports (Sunde, 7/28).
“There are few ideas as powerful as the eradication of a human disease. But the euphoria around the world’s single success to date â€“ that of smallpox â€“ has led to ever more costly efforts to do the same for polio. World leaders need either to radically step up their commitment or have the courage to abandon the goal explicitly,” a Financial Times editorial states.
An independent group of health experts, formed last year at the request of the WHO, on Wednesday warned that the world is not on track to eradicate polio by the end of 2012, the Associated Press reports.
“Vaccine program workers, who sometimes struggle to gain public trust and governmental cooperation in the first place, are furious about the deception” of the CIA in establishing a vaccination program in Pakistan in an attempt to gather DNA from Osama bin Laden’s family, ScienceInsider reports. “Aid workers also say that news of the vaccination plot may undermine their ability to work with the public and with developing world governments,” the news service writes (Reardon, 7/13).
Health experts and writers continue to react to the CIA’s use of a vaccine campaign to hunt Osama bin Laden:
After the Guardian broke the story that the CIA organized a fake vaccination program in Pakistan in an effort to confirm the location of Osama bin Laden and obtain DNA from his family members, several writers and health experts reacted to the situation, noting the possible implications for future health efforts.
Pakistan has reported the first case of the type-3 wild poliovirus in six months, raising concerns that the disease may spread to other parts of Asia and beyond, the WHO said on Thursday, Bloomberg/San Francisco Chronicle reports. “Confirmation of continuation of WPV3 transmission in tribal areas of Pakistan has significant implications for the global effort to eradicate WPV3, particularly as Asia is on the verge of eliminating circulation of this strain,” the WHO said on its website.