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The Art of Eradicating Polio

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

Figures

  • Power of example.

    Muhammad Ali Pate gives oral polio vaccine to a Fulani child in Malumfashi in northern Nigeria.

    CREDIT: HALLAH TASHIKALMAH
  • Command central.

    From his office in Abuja, Pate has coordinated Nigeria's push to eliminate the poliovirus since 2008.

    CREDIT: ALAMY
  • Campaign route.

    In mid-April, Pate drove hundreds of kilometers and made dozens of stops across the Nigerian states of Kaduna and Katsina, where polio is entrenched and resistance to vaccination is high.

    CREDIT: HALLAH TASHIKALMAH
  • Vaccine advocates.

    Legs paralyzed by the disease, polio survivors play an important role in persuading reluctant parents to let their children be immunized.

    CREDIT: HALLAH TASHIKALMAH
  • Winning hearts and minds.

    A UNICEF community volunteer in Kano teaches a father about polio. In the end, he agrees to let his seven children be vaccinated.

    CREDIT: UNICEF/L. ANDRIAMASINORO
  • Linchpin.

    Nigeria is critical to the global effort to eradicate polio. It is just one of three countries, along with Afghanistan and Pakistan, where transmission has never been stopped. Since 2003, Nigeria has accounted for a significant share of cases worldwide, and virus originating there sparked outbreaks in 25 previously polio-free countries.

    SOURCE: WHO
  • Progress.

    Under Nigeria's new emergency eradication plan, polio cases in the country have dropped about 45% from this time last year. Nigeria had 122 polio cases total in 2012; so far this year there have been 47, compared with 90 this time last year. Cases have shifted to the eastern half of the country, where the insurgency is intense and it is difficult to reach children during polio vaccination campaigns. There have been no cases of type 3 polio, showing gains against one of the two remaining wild serotypes.

    SOURCE: WHO
  • Half a continent away.

    A young girl receives polio vaccine drops at a school in Mogadishu, where a new outbreak is raging, seeded by virus from Nigeria.

    CREDIT: UNICEF/KATE HOLT

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