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La politique d'éradication de la poliomyélite

CAMBRIDGE – Il y a quelques années, la campagne mondiale d'éradication de la poliomyélite s'est apparemment interrompue. Après des décennies d'efforts d'éradication, le virus est resté obstinément endémique en Afghanistan, au Pakistan et au Nigeria. Puis en 2013 et 2014, il a fait son retour dans sept pays auparavant exempts de poliomyélite en Afrique et au Moyen-Orient, ce qui a poussé l'Organisation Mondiale de la Santé à annoncer la résurgence de cette maladie comme une « urgence de santé publique de portée internationale. »

Malgré le retour actuel de cette maladie, l'éradication de la poliomyélite n'a jamais été aussi proche. En 2015, il n'y avait que 74 nouveaux cas de cette maladie, 80% de moins par rapport à l'année précédente, soit le plus faible total annuel jamais relevé. Et la totalité de ces cas se sont concentrés dans seulement deux pays, 54 au Pakistan et 20 en Afghanistan. Par ailleurs, dix-huit mois se sont écoulés depuis le dernier diagnostic du virus en Afrique.

Les raisons de ce revirement remarquable sont instructives : elles illustrent les défis auxquels sont confrontés les agents de santé publique, ainsi que les meilleurs moyens de les surmonter.

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