Lessons Learned From Pakistan’s Final Push To Eliminate Polio Could Be Applied To Other Infectious Diseases
The Conversation: Inching closer to a world without polio
Christine Crudo Blackburn, postdoctoral research fellow at the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University; and Morten Wendelbo, lecturer at the Bush School of Government and Public Service and Texas A&M University Libraries and research fellow at the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs
“…Today, only three countries continue to see regular cases [of polio]: Pakistan, Nigeria, and Afghanistan. Of these, Pakistan is closest to becoming polio-free thanks to its persistent, innovative vaccination campaign programs. But its poor security, weak health system, and lack of proper sanitation work against this effort. The lessons infectious disease preparedness and response researchers like us are learning in Pakistan, during what’s hopefully a final push against polio, will also apply elsewhere, as public health experts work to wipe out other infectious diseases around the world. … It is likely that a world without polio may not be too far off in the future — and then infectious disease researchers can make use of the lessons learned in Pakistan as they move the fight to other diseases elsewhere around the world” (3/23).