Parental Resistance To Polio Vaccine Complicating Eradication Efforts In Pakistan

Washington Post: Pakistan, on verge of eradicating polio virus, faces human hurdles
“…[T]hough the virus is tantalizingly close to eradication in Pakistan, it has recently reappeared in drain and sewer samples from eight urban areas, and four new cases of paralyzed children have been confirmed since Jan. 1. The reason for this stunning setback, officials say, is not medical, financial, or environmental, although fetid streams and ravines of garbage mar some poor urban communities where the virus keeps being found. With international support, Pakistan has enough vaccine to immunize every child a dozen times over. In January alone, it inoculated 39 million. The reason is mistrust, born of ignorance and rumor-mongering. Although it is illegal for a parent to refuse the vaccine, thousands of families do so. Their fear is fanned by cultural taboos, religious propaganda, and tales of foreign plots…” (Constable/Khan, 3/5).