How Syria Beat Its Polio Outbreak
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
The battle to eradicate polio from planet is at once entirely global and at the same time a very individual process–every single child must be immunized.
Between those two extremes are regional battles to control outbreaks and prevent children from being paralyzed. On October 29, 2013, the first case of polio was reported in Syria after an absence of 14 years. The conflict in Syria was devastating to public health, reducing routine immunizations from 99 percent to 52 percent.
By the end of April of 2014, 36 children in Syria and two in Iraq were paralyzed, but the outbreak appears to have been controlled due to massive efforts on the ground.
On Friday, January 9, 2014 at 2:00 Eastern, Chris Maher, Manager for Polio Eradication and Emergency Support for the World Health Organization in Syria will join me for a live discussion about the efforts to manage polio through the conflicts and displacements that have impacted millions of people. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.
More about the World Health Organization:
The World Health Organization (WHO) is the public health arm of the United Nations (UN). Mr Maher works with the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, the largest public health initiative aimed at eradicating polio. The Initiative is a partnership between national governments and spearheading partners, namely, the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, and Rotary International. Other important partners have also joined the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, including regional partners
Chris Maher has worked in the public health sector for the past three decades and specifically in polio eradication for 21 years. He joined the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1993 working on immunization. Maher spent the first eight years working in the Western Pacific Region, based in Manila, and his position had him covering over 30 countries. He has been involved in polio eradication at every level from organizing local vaccination campaigns, investigating cases of paralysis, through to running the technical elements of the global program.
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The post How Syria Beat Its Polio Outbreak appeared first on Your Mark On The World.