[ View the story "Working towards a polio-free Pakistan " on Storify] Working towards a polio-free Pakistan Even with international efforts to promote polio immunisation, virus makes a comeback in the country.
The Stream· Tue, May 27 2014 17:20:33
Polio is a deadly virus
through contaminated food and water that mostly affects young children. Since global efforts to eradicate the disease
in 1988, infections have dropped by 99 per cent, from 350,000 to just 406 in 2013. The World Health Assembly hopes to have the disease wiped out by 2018, but persistent challenges remain.
Despite multinational cooperation and billions
on eradication, health workers are having a hard time
the disease from its last strongholds: Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Saving a life in a life threatening scenario, hats off to all volunteers of anti-polio-campaign. #Karachi #Pakistan
Local suspicion of vaccines and health workers who may work with foreign organisations make accessing children for immunisations difficult. The World Health Organization (WHO)
that if eradication fails, there could be as many as 200,000 new cases of polio each year.
a major global exporter for the disease. Of the 82 cases of polio
this year, 66 were in Pakistan. Earlier this month the WHO
a worldwide "public health emergency".
@AJStream Failure to eliminate polio, done by 98% countries, is embarrassing and painful as a Pakistani. Need to save our next generations.Andy Dar
@AJStream Pakistan remains as a major reservoir of #polio virus in south east Asia, an outbreak could affect other countries againRH Jabbar
Misinformation and distrust of immunisation programmes have led some Pakistanis to refuse vaccination. Hostility toward the drives has resulted in
of at least 56 people including health workers since 2012.
@AJStream Govt is doing all it can but ignorance & illiteracy are the hindering factors.. many health workers are shot giving polio vaccineKhadija
@AJStream because they think its some infertility medicine sent by US to decrease the no. Muslims from the face of the earth...Khadija
@AJStream Extreme teachings of #Islam are active in #Pakistan & want nothing to do with the Western help which include Polio vaccinations!Neslihan Kurosawa
@AJStream because some from rural areas believes polio vaccines are anti-fertile so they are against itAaric Neal
Those accusations are not entirely baseless. In 2011, the CIA
a Pakistani doctor to help locate the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden under the guise of a hepatitis B vaccination campaign. Since then, door-to-door health programmes have been
with suspicion, threatening to undo progress on polio vaccination.
@locke @AJStream CIA never a trusted body..
They are dragging the future of millions pak children in danger..auqib salam
@AJStream They kill Polio workers in Pakistan. Bcoz Taliban believed they spied for CIA during Osama huntPrabal
@AJStream they are targeted because previously they spied on terrorist using polio vaccination as a cover upRH Jabbar
@AJStream Trust is hard to sell & the CIA have created an atmosphere of mistrust for #health officials & life threatening #Polio. #PakistanJuzar Noorani
Earlier this week, Pakistan
a new polio vaccination drive in its semi-autonomous tribal region, but officials fear that nearly 370,000 children might miss immunisations due to security concerns.
The Stream asked its online community about solutions to the challenges of polio eradication:
@AJStream if the workers have a union then let them unite and have a common constructive voiced out policy to fight polio in PakistanTemitayo
@AJStream #polio goes hand-in-hand with conflict: Syria, South Sudan, DRC. When we eradicate conflict, we might eradicate polio.toasterhead
@locke A sermon by a religious figure in favor of polio will tackle the misconception as they follow their religion by all means @AJStreamAaric Neal
@mmbilal @AJStream misinformed & mislead Pakistanis. LESSON: Don't take mullahs as your medical advisors!Jihad F. Saleh
@AJStream It is in northern Nigeria. Primary prevention to improve hygiene is more pertinent since immunization has been used to no availZainab Abdullahi
Pakistan's struggle to eradicate polio is covered in the forthcoming documentary
"The Last Drops"
Lifelines - The Last Drops promoaljazeeraenglish
What do you think? How would you address polio eradication in Pakistan? Share your ideas in the comments below.