Health workers told to look after themselves first

Scientists are now urging health workers that are participating in the polio endgame relief effort take extra precautions in order to make sure that they are safe. According to experts, eradicating polio from the world is a very achievable global health goal that should be made a priority.

Experts are concerned that health workers not only have to take care of their own health in areas such as Nigeria and Pakistan, but also that they need extra security to prevent murder of the volunteers from taking place.

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative has announced a new plan that is made up of health organisations, UN bodies, governments and Rotary International and is a strategy to help eradicate polio completely by the year 2018.

In 2012 there were only 223 reported cases of polio in the world which is a decrease of 66% compared to 2011. Now there are only three countries where endemic polio still exists: Nigeria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. However, without tighter control it will be very easy for polio to slip over the borders of the unstable countries and start to spread again.

Scientists in more than eighty countries including the heads of public health institutions and Noel laureates have spoken out about the polio plan indicating that they fully support it.

They are asking that all global health players and governments step up and do their part to help eliminate polio from the world. The problem with polio is that it is able to spread very quickly and is very infectious; however, it is also easily preventable with the right vaccines.

A large setback to the movement however has been the amount of volunteer vaccinators that have been killed in Nigeria and Pakistan by militant Islamist groups after they were targeted due to the CIA fake vaccination scheme that helped ensnare Osama bin Laden.