The Presidential Daily Brief

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  1. Polio

    We Got Smarter and Faster at Fighting Polio

    You may have heard about recent polio outbreaks in Syria, Kenya and Somalia. What you may not know is just how rapid and effective the response has been. It looks like the outbreak in the Horn of Africa was controlled in four months, less than half the time it took to control an outbreak there in 2005. That speed is due in part to the work done at the Global Vaccine Summit held in Abu Dhabi this year. We adopted a comprehensive plan that includes making the world polio-free by 2018. And more than 30 donors — including a number of very generous private individuals — backed the plan with a total of $4 billion in long-term funding. In early 2014, India will have gone three years without a single polio case (assuming no new ones are reported between now and then), a testament to the efficacy of immunizing every child. Next door in Pakistan, the political leaders are clearly resolved to get polio out of the country once and for all. When I met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif this fall, he made it clear that he sees vaccinating children as a matter of justice. Despite the ongoing violence there and in Afghanistan — including horrifying reprisals against vaccine workers — the next couple of years are a good opportunity for us to make progress on this goal.

    Sources: GatesNotes, Ozy.com

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