The Last Drops


Will health workers in Pakistan overcome political and religious tensions to vaccinate children against polio?

The horrors of polio have left a legacy of suffering across the world.

When a breakthrough vaccine was discovered in the 1960s, polio was eliminated in the developed world. Other countries followed as vaccination campaigns were stepped up until only three countries remained, just a few hundred cases of polio in each. Until recently, Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan have been the remaining endemic countries. There are now new reports of an outbreak in Syria.

Polio is highly infectious and like all diseases has no respect for national borders, so the world remains at risk until the very last case of polio is gone.

Pakistan is one of the last countries never to have ended polio despite concerted vaccination efforts from local, national and international organisations.

Teams of women ‘vaccinators’ in Pakistan struggle to achieve full coverage in a country wracked by ideological violence. Their commitment is unfailing even as they face attacks from the Taliban, as well as fearful communities that don't trust the source of the vaccines. Determined and patient, these women go from door to door to try and get all the children protected.

The full article continues at on Al Jazeera’s website.