Pakistan Faces Challenges To Vaccinating Against Polio

News outlets report on polio in Pakistan, one of three countries identified last week by the WHO as a main reservoir of the virus.

BBC News: Pakistan’s deadly descent into polio contagion
“Pakistan was close to eradicating polio 10 years ago. But conspiracy theories, a Taliban ascendancy and drive-by shootings of polio workers have reversed the gains. The BBC’s M. Ilyas Khan reports from the frontline of the government’s war against the virus and the militants’ war against its vaccinators…” (5/9).

Bloomberg News: Disease Rides the Dogs of War as Polio, Measles, Typhoid Capitalize on Chaos
“…So far this year, 74 cases have been reported globally, compared with 26 in the same period last year. Of those, 59 were in Pakistan, including 36 in North Waziristan, a Taliban-dominated tribal region along the country’s border with Afghanistan…” (Bennett et al., 5/9).

Christian Science Monitor: In Pakistan’s polio epicenter, workers struggle against threats and suspicion
“Peshawar is on the front-lines of Pakistan’s polio battle. Ninety percent of Pakistan’s polio cases were genetically traced to the city earlier this year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO called the city the ‘world’s largest reservoir’ of the virus…” (Ahmad, 5/9).

New York Times: Disease of Pakistan’s Poor Now Worries the Affluent
“Until recently, polio was considered a poor man’s problem in Pakistan … But since the World Health Organization declared a polio emergency here last week — identifying Pakistan, Syria and Cameroon as the world’s main reservoirs of the virus — the disease has become an urgent concern of the wealthy, too…” (Imtiaz/Walsh, 5/10).

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