Polio eradication campaign loses ground

12 July 2019 Vol 365, Issue 6449


In Depth
Polio eradication campaign loses ground
By Leslie Roberts
Science12 Jul 2019 : 106-107 Restricted Access
Surging cases in Pakistan and Africa have dashed hopes of defeating the virus this year.
The global initiative to eradicate polio is badly stuck, battling the virus on two fronts. New figures show the wild polio virus remains entrenched in Afghanistan and Pakistan, its other holdout, where cases are surging. The main problem in both countries is that the massive vaccination campaigns held every few months are still not reaching every child. In Africa, meanwhile, the vaccine itself is spawning virulent strains that are hard to contain. The leaders of the world’s biggest public health program are admitting for the first time that success is not just around the corner—and intensively debating how to break the impasse.