Money to fight polio, and other news

Here’s a sampling of the news that caught our eye this week.

At the UN, money backs up vow to eradicate polio by 2015

CNN, October 2, 2012

Peter Salk and Aseefa Zardari never met before today, but they have an odd and very significant thing in common: both of them were inoculated against polio by one of their parents.

Hand squeezing polion vaccine into open mouth of baby.

A baby in India receives polio vaccine. Photo: PATH/Gabe Bienczycki.

In the case of Salk, of course, it was his father Jonas, who administered his just-developed vaccine to himself, his lab workers and his family even before it was formally approved and released. Aseefa’s inoculator was her mother, the late Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, assassinated in 2007.

“I have a picture of my wife immunizing our daughter 18 years ago,” said Asif Zardari, the current president and Aseefa’s father, at a United Nations gathering Saturday. “My martyred wife told the world she dreamt of a world in which all children are free of disease.”

Father, daughter and Salk had come to the UN as part of a new international push to eradicate polio once and for all, and they were hardly alone. Read the article.

The urbanisation trap

The Economist, October 2, 2012

Moving from farms to cities does not always translate to gains in income.

As a general rule, moving to work in cities is synonymous with economic growth, and the more people do the first, the more countries get of the second.…But general rules are made to be broken.…in many African countries an increase in the size of the urban population has not necessarily been associated with growth. Read the article.

India: calling the shots

Financial Times, October 2, 2012

Fewer than half of India’s babies are immunized against childhood diseases. For doctors, that’s a nightmare. For vaccine makers, it’s a dream opportunity. Read the article.

Saving more lives than ever

The Huffington Post, October 1, 2012

When I became Secretary of State, I asked our diplomats and development experts: “How can we do better?” I could see our strengths, including tens of thousands of public servants who get up every day thinking about how to advance America’s interests and promote our values around the world. At the same time, I could also see areas where we could be stronger partners, and where we could do more to get the most out of every hour of effort and dollar of funding. I saw it in our diplomacy, in our development efforts—and in our global health work. Read the article.

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