The goal is an ambitious one – to deliver a polio-free world by 2018. Towards this end, the multi-sector Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) is bringing out the big guns, sparing no expense to ensure that “every last child” is immunised against the crippling disease.
Four-year-old Muhammad Jihad is handicapped, and his parents know who to blame: the Taliban.
Akbar Shah was sitting with his sick wife in the gynaecology ward of the Agency Headquarters Hospital in Bajaur Agency, a division of northern Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), when a bomb ripped through the facility, scattering patients, doctors and medical supplies.
The murder of nine health workers vaccinating children against polio in Pakistan’s northwest cities of Peshawar and Charsadda in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, and its southern port city Karachi, have elicited shock and outrage.