“Polio in Syria” – 3/8/14 – Taylor Muentener

In a publication appearing in The Lancet, authors R. Bruce Aylward and Ala Alwan discuss the state of the polio outbreak in Syria, halfway through an international emergency response.  There have been 23 confirmed cases of Polio in Syria as of January 31, 2014, fewer than other Middle Eastern countries involved in the outbreak. Aylward and Alwan report, “Fully implementing [a] response plan, however, has required overcoming immense hurdles to reach every child amid the wreckage of Syria’s public infrastructure and health system, the active conflict and insecurity, the dearth of trust, and one of the largest refugee crises since World War II.” Despite the challenges, health workers are delivering polio immunizations to Syrians and continuing surveillance of the disease.  The vaccination coverage is currently above 75% in all but one of Syria’s governorates.  Polio indicators are improving with respect to vaccine access and coverage, as well as surveillance.

For the full report: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(14)60132-X/fulltext

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