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Opinion Pieces, Editorial Address Efforts To Eradicate Polio

The following summarizes opinion pieces and an editorial addressing efforts to eradicate polio worldwide.

Los Angeles Times: Polio’s war foothold
Nancy Aossey, president and chief executive of International Medical Corps; and William Garvelink, the group’s senior adviser for global strategy

“The polio resurgence is preventable and it is time to pull out an old but proven technique to halt its spread: Days of Tranquility. This 30-year-old quaintly named tactic involves a negotiated cease-fire during which insurgents and governments allow humanitarian groups to reach children trapped by fighting and immunize them against infectious diseases, such as polio. … Days of Tranquility is probably the only chance to protect the health of the extremely vulnerable children in Syria, the Horn of Africa and along the Pakistan-Afghanistan frontier. Despite appeals, political movements and governments in these areas have been unable to find a way to pause for a few days for the good of their children…” (1/3).

Huffington Post: How Nigeria Is Helping Stop Polio for Good
Tom Frieden, CDC director

“As with other health threats, polio doesn’t stay neatly with a country’s borders. In the case of Nigeria, polio has spread from there to 25 polio-free countries in the past 10 years. The Nigerian government recognizes this as a public health threat that can be tackled. Last year they put a national emergency action plan in place to eradicate polio and activated an emergency operations center for the work. In December I had the chance to visit Nigeria and observe firsthand the progress they’re making. What I saw was impressive. Here are a few highlights from the trip…” (1/2).

The Virginian-Pilot: Erasing polio requires push
“…[P]olio showed up in eight countries [in 2013], although [2012's] fight against the scourge had been confined to four nations where violence rages and where government has lost control. That means 2014’s battle against polio must continue with everything health workers can throw at it. … Some naysayers argue that the billions of dollars it will cost to wipe out the disease could be better spent on other health needs. That ignores the billions that have already been spent, and smacks of quitting within sight of the finish line…” (12/24).