Pakistan’s Lady Health Workers At Frontlines Of Anti-Polio Campaign

Foreign Policy: The Polio Capital of the World
Arsla Jawaid, former managing editor at the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad

“As the world prepares to mark World Polio Day on Oct. 24, Pakistan remains at the center of the global effort to eradicate the virus. Despite facing a host of challenges, Pakistan’s military operation in the country’s northwest paved the way for much needed progress. Sustaining said progress will prove to be the real test for the government. … Lady Health Workers are at the fore of the anti-polio campaign, often receiving grave threats from the Taliban yet rarely receiving their salaries on time. … With Nigeria now removed from the WHO list of polio-endemic countries and Afghanistan recording just 13 cases this year, Pakistan may be the last place on Earth to eradicate the virus. The one thing it can bet on is the determination and perseverance of its Lady Health Workers” (10/22).