Polio Eradication Efforts Hampered By Conspiracy Theories, Terrorism
Motherboard: Conspiracy Theories Are the Reason We Still Have Polio
“…The last countries with polio have some important commonalities: They are rankled by terrorism that threatens health workers and makes it difficult to disseminate vaccines. But the root of this is often based in something else entirely: conspiracy theories that have grown out of stark mistrust in power. … Fighting dangerous conspiracy theories, as India has found, is its own important battle, as important and challenging as actually stamping out the poliovirus for good. While the governments of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria have committed to the distribution of polio vaccines, they can’t control the underground networks created by Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Boko Haram, and Islamic State, or ISIS. … ‘In all of these cases, the security, violence, and inability to access the populations that need the vaccination have interrupted these efforts,’ said Josh Michaud, [associate] director of global health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit research organization…” (Rao, 3/17).