Gabon polio-free, WHO certifies

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Updated 16 December 2017
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Gabon polio-free, WHO certifies

LIBREVILLE: The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Gabon a “polio-free country,” given the lack of new reported or suspected cases in the central African country.
According to a WHO statement obtained by AFP on Saturday, the UN health agency nonetheless recommended taking the necessary steps to continue monitoring for possible signs of the disease.
Gabon’s Health Minister Denise Mekam’ne Edzidzie also urged families on Saturday to “continue to immunize children and prevent a resurgence of this disease.”
Polio is a highly-infectious viral disease, which mainly affects young children and can result in permanent paralysis. There is no cure and it can only be prevented through immunization.
Cases of polio have decreased by 99 percent since 1988, when polio was endemic in 125 countries and 350,000 cases were recorded worldwide.
Now the disease is endemic only in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the WHO recorded four cases this year — two in each country. Last year, there were 37 cases globally.


UK foreign minister Hunt urges EU: Get serious in Brexit talks

Updated 21 min 28 sec ago
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UK foreign minister Hunt urges EU: Get serious in Brexit talks

  • Hunt said that people in Britain were increasingly content to leave the bloc without a deal
  • UK PM May said talks had hit an impasse and demanded new proposals and respect from EU leaders

LONDON: British foreign minister Jeremy Hunt said on Saturday that the European Union should end its blanket refusals of British proposals in Brexit talks, as any belief that Britain would capitulate was misplaced.
Hunt, who voted ‘remain’ in the 2016 referendum on EU membership, said that people in Britain were increasingly content to leave the bloc without a deal, a day after Prime Minister Theresa May said talks had hit an impasse and demanded new proposals and respect from EU leaders.
“If the EU’s view is that just by saying no to every proposal made by the United Kingdom, we will eventually capitulate and end up either with a Norway option or indeed staying in the EU, if that is there view then they’ve profoundly misjudged he British people,” Hunt told BBC radio.
“We may be polite, but we have a bottom line. And so they need to engage with us now in seriousness.”