Media/Policy Watch

Media/Policy Watch
This watch section is intended to alert readers to substantive news, analysis and opinion from the general media and selected think tanks and similar organizations on vaccines, immunization, global public health and related themes. Media Watch is not intended to be exhaustive, but indicative of themes and issues CVEP is actively tracking. This section will grow from an initial base of newspapers, magazines and blog sources, and is segregated from Journal Watch above which scans the peer-reviewed journal ecology.

We acknowledge the Western/Northern bias in this initial selection of titles and invite suggestions for expanded coverage. We are conservative in our outlook in adding news sources which largely report on primary content we are already covering above. Many electronic media sources have tiered, fee-based subscription models for access. We will provide full-text where content is published without restriction, but most publications require registration and some subscription level.

Accessed 15 April 2017
The March For Science May Be Flawed, But It’s More Than Worthy Of Your Support
Kavin Senapathy, Contributor
Apr 14, 2017
This march is representative of a fight that began long before President Trump—the one of the scientific method as an ever-standing touchstone of the truth versus exploitation of science to bolster alternative facts.

The Guardian
Accessed 15 April 2017
Polio in Afghanistan: ‘Americans bomb our children daily, why would they care?’
Sune Engel Rasmussen
10 April 2017
After being denied access by the Taliban for 15 months, health workers this week resumed a vaccination campaign against polio in parts of Kunduz province in northern Afghanistan.

The Taliban block on polio vaccinations left an estimated 170,000 children without inoculation, endangering a campaign that has almost eradicated the disease in Afghanistan. Days before the Taliban allowed vaccinators access, a 14-month-old girl in the Afghan province of Kunduz was found to have been paralysed by polio.

Until it was blocked, leaving about 170,000 children in Kunduz province without inoculations, the scheme had almost eradicated the disabling viral disease in Afghanistan. But polio can spread quickly, with even a single case potentially enough to widen the disease’s footprint. When the girl in Kunduz’s Dasht-e-Archi district became the third child this year diagnosed with polio, Taliban commanders relented.

Local commanders have long been the main obstacle to polio vaccinators in Kunduz. Qari Bashir, the Taliban health chief in the province, had demanded construction of a clinic in Char Dara district to treat civilians and wounded fighters, on a par with clinics in government-held areas. But the WHO does not build trauma clinics.

Speaking to the Guardian, Bashir confirmed his demand for a clinic but said there were other concerns. Chief among them was a suspicion among villagers that polio teams could be infiltrated by spies.

Polio was a top issue in village council meetings, Bashir said. But while some locals argued he was obliged to allow vaccinations, others warned him not to trust foreign-run health teams, a scepticism Bashir shared.

“Every day, the Americans are bombing Afghan children. I don’t think this was so important to them,” he said…