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11/3/13, 9:08 AM
The SJAC Weekly Update- October 31, 2013
Polio spreads as targeting of health workers continues
In the latest example of Syria’s dire health crisis, ten cases of polio were confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO) this week. But this shouldn’t come as a surprise given the circumstances. While the conflict puts many Syrians at risk, two particular kinds of tactics—the targeting of health workers and the denial of access to humanitarian and medical workers—constitute violations that are exacerbating a critical situation. Back in June, a WHO official claimed that in Syria “outbreaks are inevitable.” The prediction is being born out today in unfortunate clarity. Last week’s World Polio Day, which celebrated global progress toward eradicating the disease, came in stark contrast to Syria’s recent confirmed cases. The outbreaks mark the first reports of polio in Syria in over a decade, according to WHO. The 22 suspected cases all involve children in the Deir el-Zoor province and over 100,000 children in the province are thought to be at risk. There is no cure for Polio, but it can be protected against with just three doses of avaccine. WHO reported that “[h]ealth authorities in Syria and neighbouring countries had already began the planning and implementation of the comprehensive outbreak response.”(Photo: UNICEF/Halabi via UN News Centre.)
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"Polio spreads as targeting of health workers continues" - The SJAC Weekly Update
11/3/13, 9:08 AM
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