Anadolu Agency | getty images

Die Politik hinter der Bekämpfung von Polio

CAMBRIDGE – Vor einigen Jahren befand sich die globale Kampagne gegen Kinderlähmung an einem Tiefpunkt. Nach Jahren des Kampfes gegen den Virus hielt er sich doch hartnäckig in Pakistan, Afghanistan und Nigeria. Dann stellte sich 2013 und 2014 heraus, dass er in sieben Länder in Afrika und im Nahen Osten zurückgekehrt war, die bereits als poliofrei galten. Daraufhin erklärte die Weltgesundheitsorganisation, die Rückkehr des Virus sei ein „Gesundheitsnotstand globalen Ausmaßes”.

Trotz dieser Rückschläge ist die Welt heute einer kompletten Ausrottung des Virus dennoch näher als jemals zuvor. 2015 wurden lediglich 74 neue Krankheitsfälle verzeichnet - 80 Prozent weniger als im Vorjahr. Diese Zahl ist die niedrigste jährliche Infektionsrate seit Beginn der Aufzeichnungen. Und all diese Fälle konzentrierten sich auf nur zwei Länder: 54 in Pakistan und 20 in Afghanistan. Darüber hinaus ist das Virus in Afrika das letzte Mal vor 18 Monaten aufgetaucht.

Die Ursachen dieser bemerkenswerten Kehrtwende sind interessant, denn sie können als beispielhaft für die Herausforderungen gelten, die Gesundheitsarbeiter bewältigen müssen und für die beste Art und Weisen, diese zu überwinden.

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