Day Zero: Inside Nigeria’s response to the 2016 polio outbreak

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Hut in Africa

Too expensive, too slow, too discriminatory, and other myths about the polio eradication program

In 2017, there was a total of 22 polio cases in the world. To put that in perspective, in 1988, there were 350,000 cases of polio, with approximately 22 people (mostly children) becoming paralyzed every half hour. Today's 99 percent reduction of cases should be cause for celebration. The Optimist's Ryan Bell sat down with Jay Wenger, director of the polio program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to fact-check the most persistent myths about the effort to eradicate polio.
By Jay Wenger Director, Polio Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Three children running in desert

Keeping vaccination goals close, no matter how afar

New data released on July 16 showed that 9 in 10 infants worldwide received at least one dose of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) vaccines in 2017, illustrating the progress and challenges in achieving global immunization coverage. Dr. Orin Levine discusses his personal journey discovering the real value of vaccines and how the Gates Foundation is thinking about tricky issues such as equity and vaccine hesitancy.
By Ryan Bell Feature Writer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation