News Focus

The Art of Eradicating Polio

Science  04 Oct 2013:
Vol. 342, Issue 6154, pp. 28-35
DOI: 10.1126/science.342.6154.28

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Summary

Nigeria is one of the last, most stubborn reservoirs for the poliovirus and is one of the biggest obstacles to the massive global effort to eradicate polio. Last year, Nigeria had more polio cases than any country in the world; this year, it has sparked a huge outbreak in the Horn of Africa. The obstacles to eradicating polio in Nigeria are not so much scientific as political and social. Muhammad Ali Pate, the former minister of state for health, is trying to turn things around using his signature brand of diplomacy, which was on display during a 3-day trip through two northern states in April.