Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Please note I have a new phone number...


Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Guest Blog: Polio, continued threat to human health around the world.

Brian McAfee
2838 Mason Blvd.
Muskegon Hts., Michigan USA 49444

(231) 737-8726


                              Polio Continues To Be A Major Threat For Millions Of Children

                                                          by Brian McAfee

       While great strides have been taken in ridding the world of polio there are four countries where the disease continues to endanger the lives of children. The countries where the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF have confirmed the existence of and are now immunizing children from polio are Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Syria.

     Pakistan has had the most reported cases. In 2013 there were 93 reported cases of polio, so far in 2014 there have been 24 new cases. Health workers that have been vaccinating Pakistani children
have been targeted by the Taliban and other Islamic fundamentalists. Over 40 health workers and  police monitoring their safety have been killed since December of 2012. In spite of the risks  health
workers from UNICEF and the WHO and other aid organizations continue to work under potentially
dangerous conditions. Last month Islamic scholars from the Islamic Advisory Group gave an official 
declaration that "Shariah allows polio vaccinations". Despite this proclamation polio workers continue to be attacked.

     Afghanistan reported their first polio patient late last year, a three year old girl. For 2013 Afghanistan  had two reported cases of polio, so far this year there have been three new cases. The WHO believes Afghanistan's polio cases may have originated in cross border contact with Pakistan.

     Nigeria in 2012 had 200 cases of polio, for 2013 there were 53 reported. There are none so far
for 2014. The WHO and UNICEF have been quite active in Nigeria and that is probably why Nigeria 
has been polio free so far this year. Polio workers have been attacked in Nigeria as well. In February of 2013 nine were killed in attacks on two clinics in northern Nigeria. 

     Until last year the last time any Syrian children had polio was 1999. In November of 2013 the
WHO said it had found 17 cases. In Syria at least 6.5 million people are internally displaced and
another 2.3 million have fled to Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq or Egypt. Given the increasingly 
precarious situation in the region in the region the number of children with polio is probably no longer 17.

     Another country, not generally included among the top few for polio but I believe should be, is 
South Sudan. 70 thousand of South Sudan's children have been vaccinated against polio. There is 
an ongoing civil war now under way in South Sudan. UNICEF and the WHO are active in the region, and continued monitoring of South Sudan as well as the others mentioned is worth encouraging,

     This month the WHO and UNICEF will give polio vaccinations to 10 million children across the  Middle East. I encourage people to donate to UNICEF or other charities of their choice.

   UNICEF's website is  .unicefusa.org or call them at 1-800-367-5437

I welcome your comments.- Brian McAfee   brimac6@hotmail.com