Dozens of member states pledged continued support for the global effort to eradicate polio during a #WHA72 committee meeting on Thursday morning.  But one mattered more than most: Pakistan.

Global defeat of polio is within reach—but 2 formidable obstacles, violence and misinformation, stand in the way.   In Pakistan, hardline Islamist forces fueled recent violence—including arson of a health facility and the murder of 2 police guards—and spread rumors that the…

Since the WHO’s 1988 resolution to eradicate polio, cases have dropped by 99% with only 6 known cases this year in Afghanistan and Pakistan. But total containment means addressing where the virus still exists, perhaps clandestinely buried in lab freezers—just one…

3 decades in, a global push to wipe out polio has fueled tremendous progress—bringing wild polio cases down from an estimated 350,000 in 1988 to 22 in 2017—but fallen short of eradicating the disease.

We are very close to eradicating polio, with just 3 countries experiencing ongoing transmission: Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Polio is usually tracked based on reports of acute flaccid paralysis. The condition only occurs in a tiny proportion of cases, but reveals the…

The Italian government has alarmed doctors and scientists by suspending 10 mandatory vaccinations for schoolchildren, including measles, tetanus and polio.

In Karachi, Pakistan—one of polio’s last strongholds—door-to-door vaccination campaigns arouse suspicion even among those who favor immunization. Rumors spread that the vaccine sterilizes children, fueled by mistrust of governments and international organizations. Their…

In defiance of public health efforts to stamp out polio in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it keeps spreading—paralyzing 29 children, and reaching Uganda’s border.    DRC’s outbreak is derived from the oral polio vaccine, not the wild virus. High-risk districts…

A polio outbreak has been confirmed in Papua New Guinea—declared polio-free 18 years ago—after a case surfaced in a 6-year-old boy. The same virus was also isolated from stool specimens of 2 healthy children from the same community “representing an outbreak,” according to…

From quit-smoking campaigns, to safer cars, to vaccines that stamped out polio and smallpox and are now tackling HPV and the flu, public health interventions are worth the money.