Eradicating Polio In Pakistan Requires Overcoming Extremist Ideology, Violence Against Humanitarian Workers

Fox News: Campaign to eradicate polio requires courage in the face of extremist ideology and violence
Heidi J. Larson, director of the Vaccine Confidence Project and senior lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

“…The last mile of polio eradication is a story of extremism and geo-politics. The global initiative to wipe out the last bastions of the disease is one of the prime targets of the anti-Western, anti-other ideology that finds its expression in terrorism. Yet it is a health effort that has made remarkable progress, against all odds, in some of the world’s most dangerous countries. … [S]hould the knowledge of risks stop the polio effort? Never. A major legacy of the polio eradication initiative may be its experience at pursuing a vital humanitarian objective in the face of extremist ideology and violence, experience that has become increasingly central to the global polio ‘endgame’ and may be useful for many other life-saving endeavors” (1/22).