The increase of polio in Pakistan is being linked to a secret CIA effort to hunt Osama bin Laden, in which the agency set up fake vaccination clinics in the city of Abbottabad in order to get DNA from the bin Laden family. The Taliban subsequently banned immunization efforts and carried out deadly attacks on medical workers.
The World Health Organization warned Monday that polio has re-emerged as a public health emergency, after new cases of the crippling disease began surfacing and spreading across borders from countries such as Syria and Pakistan.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has done an amazing job in targeting diseases for eradication, and the world is very close to getting rid of polio altogether, in part because the Gateses in recent years have given their support to the effort, which began in 1988.
Due to a polio outbreak in eastern Syria, the organization Save the Children pleaded Tuesday with both the government and rebels to instate a cease-fire and allow access to hundreds of thousands of young ones threatened by the pernicious disease.