Pakistan's progress: Snapshots from the polio campaign

Police check a family entering a polio vaccination center in Peshawar. Security measures have been improved after the Taliban declared the polio eradication campaign a target.
Photo Credit: Diego Ibarra Sánchez
A child receives the polio vaccine in a volatile neighborhood on the outskirts of Karachi.
Photo Credit: Diego Ibarra Sánchez
Rukhsana Bibi holds a photograph of her daughter Madiha, a health worker who was killed by gunmen during a polio vaccination campaign in Karachi.
Photo Credit: Diego Ibarra Sánchez
Saiful Islam refused polio vaccinations for his eight-month-old daughter, Sulaim, because of rumors that the vaccine could contain animal urine.
Photo Credit: Diego Ibarra Sánchez
Sulaim contracted polio two months before this picture was taken. Both of her legs are now paralyzed.
Photo Credit: Diego Ibarra Sánchez

From the September 2015 issue of The Rotarian

Nearly 90 percent of the world’s polio cases last year occurred in Pakistan. But the country is making dramatic progress in its quest to eradicate the disease: Cases are down by almost 70 percent to date compared with 2014, owing partly to military interventions that year in Taliban-controlled North Waziristan, which have allowed vaccinators to reach hundreds of thousands of children who were previously inaccessible. Improved government leadership, the introduction of inactivated polio vaccine in high-risk districts, and vaccinations at transit points such as railways, airports, and bus stops also have played a significant role. “While Pakistan continues to face obstacles in its journey to polio eradication, we are excited about the current progress being made,” says Mike McGovern, chair of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee, who met with Rotarians and government officials during a visit to the country in June.

The Rotarian

20-Aug-2015
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