This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Saturday, February 20, 2016

It Takes Guts to be a Polio Vaccinator in Pakistan

It has been more than three years since I last wrote about the atrocious attacks on polio vaccination workers in Pakistan, but a quick Google search tells me that there have been lots of attacks between then and this week, when the latest news came across the wire. Reuters reports that a polio worker was shot and wounded in Lahore while working as part of the campaign to finally get rid of polio in the world.
Polio, which can cause lifelong paralysis, is now endemic in only two countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Pakistan's polio cases are declining, with just 54 cases of polio virus reported last year, down more than 80 percent from 2014, when the country suffered a large spike in cases.
The latest immunisation push aims to finish vaccinating every child in the country by the end of May.
Efforts to eliminate polio in Pakistan have been complicated in recent years, as polio workers have faced attacks by militants who say the health teams are Western spies, or that the vaccines they administer are intended to sterilise children.
The report did not lay blame on any specific group for the shooting, but resistance to vaccinations is generally attributed to the Taliban who, of course, work specifically in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  These are the same people who want life to return to what it was like centuries ago--short and brutish and especially bad for women and children.

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