News & AnalysisDISEASE ERADICATION

Killings Force Rethinking of Pakistan's Anti-Polio Drive

Science  18 Jan 2013:
Vol. 339, Issue 6117, pp. 259-260
DOI: 10.1126/science.339.6117.259

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Summary

Pakistan is one of just three countries where the poliovirus remains entrenched, and global cases are at an all-time low. Over the years, polio workers have been killed in conflict zones, but never in such numbers or in such deliberate attacks as in Pakistan. Health workers are asking, can the government safeguard its legions of vaccinators and still reach enough kids to keep the poliovirus in check? And if not and the virus regains steam, how big of a setback will that be to the global initiative, which, 13 years after it was due to be finished, is finally close to success?