This Week's Links: Who's Winning in the Battle Against Polio?

Ayan Hassan and Sahro Ahmed, trained vaccinators, travel long distances to deliver polio vaccination in hard to reach areas in Somali region of Ethiopia. Flickr/UNICEF Ethiopia ©UNICEF Ethiopia/2013/Sewunet

Ayan Hassan and Sahro Ahmed, trained vaccinators, travel long distances to deliver polio vaccination in hard to reach areas in Somali region of Ethiopia. Flickr/UNICEF Ethiopia ©UNICEF Ethiopia/2013/Sewunet

By Emily Lewis

In our weekly links blog we like to share things, new and old, that have taken our interest here at the RWI. We don't always agree with the source or theory, but we find them to be important contributions to the discussion of disease eradication and/or theodicy.

Polio has been getting a lot of press this week, as a mysterious doppelgänger disease has shown up in some areas of the United States, according to reports from USA Today and other sources. Polio is a disease we dreamed would follow smallpox into oblivion, but the road to eradication has proven long and arduous. Here we take a closer look at why . . .

Considered "readily preventable" in the developed world, Polio still prevails in poor areas of South Asia. The Tampa Bay Times explains why the disease continues to terrorize underdeveloped communities, even where immunizations are available. 

And in the past few years the fight against polio has attracted another kind of terror. Early in 2013, several groups of aid workers administering the polio vaccine were ambushed and murdered in Pakistan. This article by Wired does a great job of explaining the far-reaching ramifications of those events. 

As the Lancet enumerates the setbacks that have caused projects like the Global Polio Eradication Initiative to continue to push back their target dates, this is a time like no other when the people of God can remind the world that His heart is still for the marginalized and downcast. "How often do we pray for those combating polio?" Dr. Winter was fond of asking.

We want to leave you with that challenge, but also leave you hope, even for those whose lives have been ravaged by polio. Check out this documentary on a polio-survivors' soccer team in Ghana.

Do you pray for polio sufferers and survivors around the world? What about those who are trying to destroy polio?

Emily Lewis is a graduate of Gordon College with a degree in Communication Arts and Journalism. As part of the Strategic Prayer Equipping Group she founded a prayer house in a slum area of New Delhi, India, where she lived for four years. She now resides outside San Francisco, where she's writing a book about her personal journey coming to understand the will of God in regard to sickness.

Posted on February 6, 2015 and filed under Third 30, Blog.