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Female Vaccinators Critical Component Of Achieving Polio Eradication

Project Syndicate: Helping the Heroines of Polio Eradication
Minda Dentler, 2017 Aspen New Voices fellow and polio survivor

“…[V]ictory over polio is not yet assured. And one factor — the role of female vaccinators — will be a critical determinant of success. … Since UNICEF began emphasizing the hiring of women for its polio program in 2014, the number of female vaccinators has increased dramatically. … As Aidan O’Leary, UNICEF’s chief of anti-polio efforts in Pakistan, has noted, ‘female vaccinators are driving every single operational gain that is being made.’ … [W]omen on the ground know their communities best and are uniquely qualified to finish the job. Completing the last mile will require creativity and tenacity, and governments and donors should support the women who will get the world across the finish line, to a world with zero polio cases — forever” (7/26).