International efforts to contain polio outbreak in Syria
Polio have been confirmed among children in Syria, the first outbreak of the disease in that country since 1999, a World Health Organization spokesman confirmed to CNN. Most of the victims were younger than two years old and were unimmunized or underimmunized, WHO said in a statement.
The Syrian Health Ministry is working with international organizations and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent to get the vaccine to all areas of Syria. Health officials recently launched a program to immunize 1.6 million Syrian children against polio, measles, mumps and rubella — in government- and rebel-held areas. The response, which will also include neighboring countries, is expected to last at least six months, the WHO said.
Given the fighting, the large-scale movement of refugees and the number of children who have not been fully immunized, “the risk of further international spread of wild poliovirus type 1 across the region is considered to be high.”
This entry was posted in Humanitarian Aid, International Cooperation by Grant Montgomery.
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I worked as a park ranger for two years in Washington, D.C. at the National Mall, and one of the sites at which I was stationed was the F.D.R. Memorial. It goes without saying how F.D.R.’s own ordeal due to his being crippled by polio was, is and always will be a major theme underlying this beautiful memorial to him and his legacy. As you have always known, F.D.R.’s “March of Dimes” from the mid-1930’s became one of the driving forces making possible the eventual discovery in the 1950’s of the first effective polio vaccine.
I wish to lend my presence, energies, talents and skills to this most worthy endeavour as they struggle now to contain and –God willing– eradicate this latest polio scourge as it has now manifested itself in Syria. After everything I learned before and during my time at the F.D.R. Memorial regarding his own determination to rid the world of the polio that had crippled him, I deem it a singular honour to dedicate my own efforts to eliminate this latest manifestation of polio to F.D.R.’s memory. With gratitude and regards, I am
Timothy H. Simandl