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Polio in Pakistan
News Bytes 05/25/2022 15 Comments

Pakistan launched a new anti-polio drive on Monday. The initiative began more than a week after officials detected the third case so far this year in the country’s northwestern region bordering Afghanistan.

People contract the virus that causes polio through polluted water and food or by contact with an infected person. Poliomyelitis, the disease that results from infection, damages nerves in the spinal cord. It can cause paralysis and sometimes death. Many people who are infected with the poliovirus never show symptoms—yet they can spread it to others.

Plans to combat the viral spread include a vaccination campaign that will last five days. During that time, officials aim to inoculate 40 million children under the age of five across the country.

Pakistani officials discovered only one case of polio last year. That raised hopes that the country was close to eliminating the potentially fatal disease.

Officials have already carried out two anti-polio campaigns this year—one in January and one in March. But despite that effort, this year’s first case of infection was registered in April.

A statement from Dr. Shahbaz Baig, the spokesperson for the country’s polio program, urged parents to cooperate with polio workers in their door-to-door campaigns.

Pakistan’s anti-polio campaigns are regularly marked by violence. Islamic militants often target polio teams and the police assigned to protect them. They falsely claim the vaccination campaigns are a Western conspiracy to harm rather than help children.

During the March campaign, gunmen in northwestern Pakistan shot and killed a female health worker as she was returning home after a day of vaccinations. In January, gunmen shot and killed a police officer providing security for polio vaccination workers, also in the country’s northwest.

Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only remaining countries in the world still trying to eliminate polio, which most often affects children.

(A health worker gives a polio vaccine to a child in a neighborhood of Lahore, Pakistan, on Monday, May 23, 2022. AP/K.M. Chaudary)

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Most recent comments

1st Comment

1st Comment

Who would’ve guessed

Sounds like Islamic Militants and American Republicans have a lot in common

That's sad. I hope they can

That's sad. I hope they can get rid of polio there.
@Zack: what do you mean by that?

That's sad. :-(

That's sad. :-(

@Zack and Kaitlana


@Zack W

What exactly do you mean by that?

@Riley and Kaitlana

He means that both Islamic militants and American Republicans are against forced vaccinations. It's true that they have that in common, but that's pretty much where the similarities stop. While the Islamic militants are shooting people that are trying to save these children, Republicans are peacefully refusing to take the vaccine, for personal reasons. Very few are actively trying to force other people to refrain from taking the vaccine, and not all Republicans are against the vaccine. Most of the Republican-voting people I know either have taken the vaccine or have someone in their family who has taken it.
Zack's point is (correct me if I'm wrong, as always) to draw a connection between Republicans and these violent Islamics indicating that he believes that Republicans are being too violent about the vaccines.
And I would like to say (before a debate breaks out) that ultimately it doesn't even matter anymore who gets the vaccine because enough people have gotten it to prevent a pandemic again, or, if it is indeed ineffective, to show that it doesn't make a difference. Therefore, why argue? It's all a matter of personal preference and doesn't change the world. (Unless of course, someone has concrete evidence that the vaccine is not only ineffective, but dangerous. Then you might discuss politely the dangers or net positive effects.)
Last thing: Let's remember that having differing opinions is fine, as long as no one gets offended or tries to offend anyone else. :) Hope everyone is not stressing out too much with finals and that y'all's summers are great!


Ah, thanks Addie. I understand now.
Just to clarify, I wasn't trying to start a debate or anything. I honestly didn't get the connection Zack was referring to. :)
finals... very stress-inducing...


Yeah I didn't make that connection either. So now it makes sense what he was trying to say.
I totally agree that the vaccine should be a personal decision. I personally do not want it. I believe that it does not work, at least like they said it would work, and that it causes serious side effects that I don't want, like infertility. Plus, you have to keep going back and getting booster shots! That seems like it would be annoying to keep doing that.

@Riley D

I have heard that there are those side effects, but honestly, I just don't want it because I have an overwhelming fear of shots in general. I can't even watch other people get a shot without getting lightheaded and nauseous. XD

@Addie L

XD I haven't really watched shots given to other people, and I am usually fine with it given to me. I have given shots to animals and that doesn't bother me.

'Tis a sad world

Its sad to see how America is ever so slowly turning into a middle eastern country. Also I can't believe World Teen hasn't talked about the shooting in Texas

re: covid vaccine, and @ analise

I personally havn't gotten the vaccine, and while my dad got the vaccine he was the sickest with Covid when we got it, so that did not make me trust it very much.
I think they probably didn't discuss it because there may be some parents who don't want their young teens reading about a school shooting. Some things are too mature for younger readers. You can however read about it in the adult world news site.

I wouldn't want the vaccine

I wouldn't want the vaccine for things like what @Riley D said.



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