Agencies, Health Care Workers Continue To Vaccinate Against Polio In Somalia, Pakistan

VOA News examines the polio outbreak in Somalia and the Horn of Africa in a video feature. “Earlier in 2013, polio was confined to three so-called ‘endemic countries’ — Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan — where the virus has never been snuffed out,” the news service writes in an accompanying article, adding, “Combined there were fewer than 100 cases in those three countries.” However, “[s]ince the virus re-emerged in the Horn of Africa, there have been at least 160 polio cases in Somalia alone, and the virus has spread to Kenya and Ethiopia,” the news service notes and describes an ongoing vaccination campaign in the country (Salinas, 9/9). In related news, The Independent profiles the work of female polio vaccinators working in Pakistan, where attacks on vaccination teams are common. “[O]n the frontline, where teams go door-to-door persuading often reluctant families to administer drops of vaccine to their children, it is women who are leading the fight. Frequently they risk their lives to do so,” the newspaper writes (Buncombe, 9/9).