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Nigerian Polio Vaccinators Face Challenges But Aim For Eradication By 2018

The Independent reports on the challenges polio vaccinators in Nigeria face, including “the daily gauntlet of militant gangs, kidnappers, and unforgiving waters, on a mission to immunize children.” Polio remains endemic in Nigeria, as well as Pakistan and Afghanistan, “[a]nd it’s why the vaccinators — determined to cut the deaths of children from preventable diseases and wipe out polio altogether by 2018 — are prepared to endure all the country throws at them in a battle to succeed,” the newspaper writes. “But while the risks are high, the consequences of doing nothing are worse,” the newspaper continues, adding, “Each year 861,000 under-fives die here in Africa’s third richest nation.” According to The Independent, “the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is spearheading the nation’s vaccination program,” and the program is beginning to see results (McNamara/Basnett, 3/15).