reestablishment of polio in somalia- MSF withdraws because staff being killed. Who will control this outbreak now?

MSF pull out from Somalia
MSF pull out from Somalia

The attention of the world is at present on Syria and the use (or not) of nerve gas against a population indiscriminately.   However there is a threat that is perhaps even more insidious emerging in Somalia.  Declared Polio free  by the World Health Organization in 2009, Somalia is experiencing an explosive outbreak of Polio with at least 105 cases this year, over half the cases that occurred in the world in 2012.  Polio is considered endemic in only 3 countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan, but now the virus has returned to Somalia.

This is an enormous reverse for the Polio eradication programme, with the virus reestablishing itself in an area considered free of Polio.  Remember that for every symptomatic case of Polio there will have been 100 asymptomatic cases, implying widespread dissemination,of the virus.

The outbreak is largely occurring in the area controlled by the Islamist group Shabab

Medicine sans Fronti√®res, which has worked in Somalia for 22 years, has withdrawn all it’s staff because of the extreme danger, sixteen staff members having been killed.

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