News / Asia

Pakistan Moves to Contain Polio Virus after Travel Sanctions

Pakistan Moves to Contain Polio Virus after Travel Sanctionsi
X
Sharon Behn
May 16, 2014 5:30 PM
Pakistan is moving quickly to try to contain the polio virus after the World Health Organization imposed international travel restrictions on anyone coming from the polio endemic country. Sharon Behn reports from Rawalpindi where health workers are working with parents to vaccinate their children.
VIDEO: Pakistan order mandatory polio vaccinations for anyone departing country’s tribal northwest. Sharon Behn reports from Rawalpindi.
Sharon Behn
Pakistan is moving quickly to try to contain the polio virus after the World Health Organization imposed international travel restrictions on anyone coming from the polio endemic country. Health workers in Rawalpindi are working with parents to vaccinate their children.
 
Pakistan has ordered mandatory polio vaccinations for anyone leaving the country’s tribal northwest where the virus is concentrated.
 
The World Health Organization has imposed international travel restrictions on anyone leaving Pakistan without proof of vaccination as of June 1.
 
Nosherwan Khan, who owns a bus depot and belongs to the Pakistan Polio Plus committee, calls the WHO decision a wake-up call.
 
“They have to do something, Pakistani government has to do something," said Khan. "This travel ban has come as a kind of shock to all Pakistanis, and it opened their eyes up, actually, very much."
 
The country has the highest number of new polio cases in the world, and Pakistanis such as Sohail Qoreshi, like most people, understand the vaccine's importance.
 
“Polio is an epidemic in Pakistan and spreading rapidly," said Qoreshi. "Our health workers have worked hard, they’ve gone house to house with the polio drops. Now they are providing the drops at bus stops."

Much of the country has been inoculated, leaving the virus concentrated in Pakistan’s volatile tribal regions, where Taliban militants banned vaccination efforts in 2012, leaving many beyond the reach of health workers.

World Health Organization's Nima Saeed Abid says infections will persist until vaccinations resume.

“There should be a means by all parties in conflict, or all parties who have influence in this area, to sit actually and allow vaccination of these children," said Abid. "So many children have been crippled ... due to a completely avoidable disease. I mean, health is impartial and all stakeholders should understand that."

There is evidence that polio from Pakistan has reached as far as Egypt and Israel. Now everyone here, including adults, must be vaccinated as the global effort to wipe out the disease focuses on the last few places where polio is still spreading.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: John
May 17, 2014 9:07 AM
Interesting to see that travel restrictions have been imposed. Seems reasonable. Certainly it's the business of the Pakistanis whether or not they get vaccinated, but there's no reason that the rest of us should suffer if they choose not to do so.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More