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Polio Eradication Strategy Must Be Adjusted For Local Contexts

“It has been a particularly busy couple of months for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI),” SciDev.Net Director Nick Ishmael Perkins writes in a SciDev.Net editorial. “The deadly attacks on vaccinators in Pakistan brought renewed global attention to the campaign, and then Bill Gates went public with his personal commitment to…

Oral Polio Vaccine Cold Chain Disruption In Pakistan Could Compromise Immunization Effectiveness, Health Officials Warn

Health officials in Pakistan “have formally complained to the WHO concerning the quality of [oral polio vaccine (OPV)] doses distributed by the U.N. body,” SciDev.Net reports, noting 58 children became infected with polio in 2012 despite having received the vaccine. Abdul Wakeel, assistant director of the government’s immunization program in the Khyber…

Working Toward Polio Eradication In 2018

“Since the eradication of smallpox in the late 1970s, no other diseases have followed suit; the goal that has come closest so far is eradication of polio,” a Lancet Infectious Diseases editorial states, noting that in 2012 only about 250 people were infected with polio worldwide. However, the recent murders of polio…

Scientists Create New Strain Of Polio To Protect Vaccine Factory Workers

“Scientists have created new strains of polio intended to protect workers in factories that make polio vaccine,” the New York Times reports. “The new strains have the same ability to invoke an immune reaction as the live viruses now used to make vaccine do, but there is virtually no risk anyone will…

Blogs Examine Root Causes, Implications Of Myths About Polio Vaccination

Citing a review by Telegraph correspondent Rob Crilly criticizing the film Zero Dark Thirty “for getting its facts wrong about the CIA vaccination campaign that sought to confirm the DNA of [Osama] bin Laden’s children,” development blogger Tom Murphy writes in the Humanosphere blog, “Crilly’s larger point is to say that the film…

More Polio Workers Killed Than Reported Cases Of Disease, NPR Reports

“The global effort to eradicate polio has reached a bizarre stage: More people have been gunned down recently over the disease than actually infected with it,” NPR’s “Shots” blog reports. “On Friday, nine polio vaccinators in northern Nigeria were shot dead and their clinics were torched,” the blog writes, adding, “The attack…

Learning From India’s Success In Eradicating Polio

In a post in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog, Shelley Thakral, senior communications officer for the foundation’s India Country Office, interviews Orin Levine, director of vaccine delivery at the foundation, about his recent trip to India “to observe the experience of Bihar, a state in Northern…

Bill Gates Answers Questions On Global Health, Other Issues In Reddit ‘Ask Me Anything’ Discussion

“Former chief executive and current chairman of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates did a Reddit AMA (ask me anything) Monday and discussed several important global health issues,” the Global Dispatch reports (Herriman, 2/11). The Huffington Post’s “Global Motherhood” blog also recaps the discussion, writing that readers “flooded…

Moving Beyond Condemnation To Actions That Protect Health Workers

“Between December and January, at least 16 polio workers were killed in Pakistan, according to Reuters — and [on Friday], nine female health workers were slain in northern Nigeria, also while working on a polio eradication campaign,” Laura Hoemeke, director of communications and knowledge management at IntraHealth, writes in the organization’s “Global…

Disease Eradication Efforts Set Sights On Polio, Guinea Worm

“It’s not a race, exactly, but there’s an intriguing uncertainty about whether a former U.S. president or a software magnate will cause the next deliberate extinction of a species in the wild. Will Jimmy Carter eradicate Guinea worm before Bill Gates eradicates polio?” Wall Street Journal commentator Matt Ridley asks…

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