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The polio eradication campaign put to test

Claire
Magone

Head of Communications, Médecins Sans Frontières - Operational Centre Paris (OCP)

After studying communication (CELSA) and political sciences (La Sorbonne), Claire Magone worked for various NGOs, particularly in Africa (Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Nigeria). In 2010, she joined MSF-Crash as a Director of Studies. Since 2014, she has been working as a Head of Communications.

Public round table organised by MSF on October 22 2013 "the polio eradication campaign put to test". With Dr Rashid Jooma, from Aga Khan university, Karachi, Dr Elisha Renne, professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, University of Michigan ; Johannes Everts, WHO technical expert and Dr Hamid Jafari, Director of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative WHO.

The polio eradication campaign has indeniably and remarkably succeeded in tumbling down the number of polio cases worldwide.

But difficulties currently faced by the Programme -pockets of social resistance in several countries, reinfection of some countries, outbreak of epidemics associated with strains of vaccine-derived polio viruses- indeed challenge one of the main assumptions underlying the objective of the eradication itself : the full compliance of an entire population to a public health program.
In order to overcome some of the above-mentionned difficulties, there is a growing tendancy, as observed in Pakistan or in Nigeria for instance, to adopt coercive measures either to protect vaccination teams or to enforce the vaccination itself. Some of those measures question the strategy of eradication at all costs