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Record Low Number Of Polio Cases Recorded In 2017, UNICEF Says; New Report Warns Of Eradication Effort Funding Drawdown

Devex: How Pakistan got to near zero on polio
“…Two years ago, Pakistan’s inability to eradicate the disease — along with just Afghanistan and Nigeria — left it on the verge of international pariah status. … Now, the country is on the verge of eradication, and officials orchestrating what they hope is the final stretch are determined to not let anything get in the way. The hard-won successes are the culmination of a complete revamp in strategy, predicated by improvements in security…” (Khan, 11/14).

STAT: As the eradication of polio nears, a new crisis for global health looms
“…[A]s the [polio eradication] finish line comes into view, officials are largely overlooking a big potential problem, a new report warned Monday. … Funding for the [Global Polio Eradication Initiative] is scheduled to be halved by 2019, and to cease after that, except in countries that are still battling polio then or at high risk of seeing the virus return. That will severely deplete the resources of a number of already cash-strapped countries, straining their capacity to continue to vaccinate against polio and other childhood diseases like measles and rotavirus, which causes severe and sometimes life-threatening diarrhea…” (Branswell, 11/13).

VOA News: Pakistan, Afghanistan Report Historic Dip in Polio Cases
“Afghanistan and Pakistan officially are now the only two nations across the globe to have reported wild polio virus cases so far this year, though the numbers of cases have declined to historic lows. … ‘As of 9 November 2017, there are 14 cases of wild polio virus globally — nine in Afghanistan and five in Pakistan — the lowest number recorded in history,’ UNICEF reported Monday…” (Gul, 11/13).

Xinhua News: Italy donates 5 million U.S. dollars to help eradicate polio in Afghanistan
“The Italian government donated 4.3 million euros (5 million U.S. dollars) to the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization (WHO) to help eradicate polio in Afghanistan, a UNICEF statement said here on Tuesday. ‘Of this amount, 2.5 million euros (2.9 million dollars) will go to UNICEF and WHO, which are both working in the framework of the National Emergency Action Plan for Polio (NEAP) aimed at interrupting the disease transmission in Afghanistan,’ the statement said…” (11/14).

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