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World has been slow to act on polio outbreak in Syria, charity warns

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g1947 (Published 06 March 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g1947
  1. Anne Gulland
  1. 1London

Aid agencies and health organisations must learn lessons from the polio outbreak in Syria to ensure that a similar crisis does not occur in other warring nations, an epidemiologist working for the charity Save the Children has said.

Francesco Checchi, senior humanitarian health adviser at the charity, was speaking at a London meeting of the Royal Society of Medicine about the crisis in Syria. He said that the world had been slow to act when the warning signs of a potential polio outbreak were apparent before the first cases were reported.

He said that routine vaccination had stopped almost as soon as the conflict began three years ago and that many Syrians had been living in ideal …

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